CDOT Replaces Leopard Creek Bridge on SH 145 at SH 62, West of Telluride

May 30, 2012 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Majority of funding from the Colorado Bridge Enterprise.

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY – Work is underway on a project to replace the Leopard Creek Bridge on SH 145 at the junction of SH 62 near Placerville (and west of Telluride). The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Lawrence Construction are building a temporary detour to safely and efficiently move traffic through the work zone until the project completion date of November 15, 2012. The $7 million project (includes design, right of way and contract costs), is being funded in part through Colorado FASTER, including the Colorado Bridge Enterprise.*

The current 1954 structure is 85 feet long with steel girders (horizontal support beams) and two spans (there is a center pier in the creek), and it is rated in poor condition. More specifically, it is rated Functionally Obsolete, due to its narrow width that is the cause of frequent hits from vehicles on the north corners. The replacement project, which also includes highway safety improvements, will involve the following:

  1. Construction of the detour;
  2. Rock drilling and blasting to accommodate detour construction and to widen the intersection;
  3. Construction of a single-span (no pier in creek), 113-foot concrete girder bridge;
  4. Minor widening of the three intersection approaches to accommodate left turns and improved sight distance;
  5. Construction of new highway approaches to the new bridge;
  6. Removal of the detour and temporary concrete box culvert;
  7. Wetlands mitigation.

TRAVEL IMPACTS: Motorists on SH 145 will use the temporary detour adjacent to the work site; however traffic slowing and some delays should be anticipated. Occasionally, traffic will be stopped when necessary to accommodate workers and construction traffic. Later in the project, when highway approaches are connected to the new bridge, single-lane closures on SH 145 and SH 62 will be necessary at times.

For project information, contact the project hotline at 970-728-1561 or email [email protected]. GET WIRELESS NOTIFICATIONS: If you would like to receive e-mail and/or wireless notifications for this and other CDOT projects in the area, please go to CDOT’s web site at and select the green phone icon in the upper right corner (sign up for the southwest portion of the state).Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!

*FASTER Funding:  Senate Bill 09-108, also known as FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Treatment and Economic Recovery) generates funding comprised of car rental fees and weight-based vehicle registration fees. Monies collected under the FASTER Safety Fund are to be used for construction, reconstruction or maintenance projects that the State Transportation Commission, a county or municipality determine are needed to enhance the safety of a state highway, county road or city street. FASTER allocates money to state and local road-safety projects based on the existing distribution formula of 60 percent to the state, 22 percent to counties and 18 percent to municipalities.

FASTER also dedicates money to bridges through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE), a government-owned business entity within CDOT. The Colorado General assembly created the Colorado Bridge Enterprise ( to complete designated bridge projects that involve the financing, repair, reconstruction and replacement of bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT.

Replacement of the SH 145 Leopard Creek Bridge benefited from both FASTER funding sources: $385,100 in FASTER Safety funds to provide safety improvements to SH 145 and SH 62; and $4.7 million in FASTER CBE funding to replace the poor-rated structure. (Remaining funding comes from CDOT.)