Two Bypasses for Three Bridges

December 3, 2012 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - FASTER Funding Improvements near Rocky Ford.

OTERO COUNTY – Paved detours now are in place at the two locations where the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is replacing three aging bridges, east and north of Rocky Ford.

One detour bypasses the structures on State Highway (SH) 266 at the Fort Lyon Storage Canal (pictured below) and Holbrook Canal.  Both were built in 1954 and are located about two miles east of Rocky Ford.   The detour speed limit is 35 mph.

The second detour is on SH 71 at the Fort Lyon Storage Canal Bridge, built in 1934, about 20 miles north of Rocky Ford.  A 45 mph speed limit is in effect and vehicles wider than 12 feet are not permitted to travel through the work zone.

Project hours are Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.  However, the detours are in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Replacing these bridges is a priority since they’re all rated in poor condition and are functionally obsolete for today’s highway standards,” said CDOT Project Engineer Dean Sandoval.  “All of the new structures are designed to provide 75 years of service.”

Innovative construction methods are being utilized for the SH 266 bridges.  Both structures have been constructed adjacent to the existing bridges for use as part of the detour and, after the old bridges are demolished, the new structures then will be rolled (Fort Lyon Canal) or slid (Holbrook Canal) into place.  This procedure is tentatively scheduled for January.  Additional information will be forthcoming before this operation takes place.

The project, contracted to Kiewit Infrastructure Co. of Littleton, Colo., is scheduled for completion in April 2013.

FASTER – Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery – is funding the $4.9 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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Fort Lyon Canal Bridge 2012