Bridge Project Begins Near Florence

December 5, 2012 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - FASTER Funding Replacement of 85 year old Structure.

FREMONT COUNTY – Work is underway to replace the Arkansas River/Union Pacific Railroad Bridge on State Highway 120 in Portland, about five miles east of Florence.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project consists of demolishing the one-lane bridge (constructed 1927 – pictured below), building a two-lane bridge with shoulders and widening the bridge approaches.

Project hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

While most of the preliminary work is taking place off-road, the existing highway configuration remains, with a signal alternating eastbound and westbound traffic across the bridge in two minute intervals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, rock excavation at the east end of the work zone is anticipated to begin later this month, requiring flaggers to alternate traffic, with stops up to 15 minutes. It is expected to be completed by mid-January.

Beginning in mid- to late January, girders will need to be set for the new bridge, requiring 30 minute traffic stops. CDOT will distribute additional information before this phase begins.

“This bridge is 85 years old. It’s not only rated in poor condition, it’s functionally obsolete,” said CDOT Project Engineer Rod Abbott. “A one-lane bridge doesn’t meet the highway standards of today.”

The project contractor, Structures Inc. of Englewood, Colo., is scheduled to have the new bridge open to traffic by July 2013.

FASTER – Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery – is funding the $3.8 million project. FASTER dedicates money to bridges through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE), a government-owned business entity within CDOT. The Colorado General assembly created the CBE 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. More information is available at:

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