Highway 350 Bridge Up for Adoption

September 11, 2012 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - LAS ANIMAS COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is making the historic Purgatoire River Bridge on U.S. 350 available for adoption to any person or organization interested in relocating it.

US 350 Purgatoire BridgeBuilt in 1937, the National Register-eligible structure is a steel, rigid connected Camelback pony truss (see picture below). It is located at mile 6.6, about 12 miles northeast of Trinidad.

The bridge is being replaced because it does not meet current bridge design standards for roadway width and features structural deterioration, including corrosion to the support plates and deterioration of the concrete “doghouse” rail.  In addition, most of the structural steel elements and most of the concrete and reinforcing steel show signs of advanced deterioration.

“It’s a significant structure since it’s an example of one of the state’s longest span examples of a low or camelback pony truss bridge type,” said CDOT Senior Staff Historian Lisa Schoch.  “It may be a good candidate for re-use as a pedestrian or recreational trail bridge but a new deck and abutments would need to be constructed for the bridge at its new location.”

Given the structure’s age, the paint on it contains lead and possibly other objectionable elements that require careful removal and containment.  If the paint or coatings will be removed or disturbed in any manner by the disassembly and re-assembly of the bridge, the recipient must adhere to all local, state, and federal laws and regulations that address worker and environmental protection. The cost of adoption varies depending on the structure but includes disassembly, relocation, and containment and disposal of the paint during the dismantling process. However, CDOT may contribute funding up to the amount anticipated for disposal of the bridge.*

Replacement of the bridge is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2013.

*Preference will be given to plans that agree to maintain the bridge in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings.  Potential recipients must submit a written relocation plan detailing the proposed use and new location of the bridge as well as resources available to assure future maintenance.  Potential recipients should also state their intent to follow all environmental regulations concerning the treatment of lead-based paint on the structural steel components.  If you are interested in adopting this bridge and would like more information about CDOT’s Adopt-a-Bridge program, please contact Lisa Schoch, Senior Staff Historian, Environmental Programs Branch at Colorado Department of Transportation, at (303) 512-4258 or [email protected].