Bridge Replacement Project restarts near Trinidad

September 12, 2013 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - LAS ANIMAS COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Purgatoire River Bridge replacement project on U.S. 350 has resumed after it was put on hold in June due to environmental concerns from migratory birds.

“Now that the birds have moved on and out of the work zone, we can get back to building the new bridge,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Craig Wieden.  “We obviously lost lots of construction days this summer but it’s what we needed to do to help the area’s ecosystem.  The stoppage only pushed the schedule back about two months.”

The project is about 12 miles northeast of Trinidad.  A one-lane, paved detour currently is under construction, parallel to the old structure, requiring traffic stops up to 10 minutes from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

When the detour opens later this month, a signal will alternate eastbound and westbound traffic, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Sensors will monitor traffic, activating the signal to minimize wait times for stopped vehicles.  The maximum wait time will be two minutes.

During construction, scheduled through December 2013, the speed limit is reduced to 40 mph and   vehicles wider than 14 feet are not permitted through the work zone.

CDOT is replacing the current structure since it is poor condition and functionally obsolete. In addition to building a new structure, the project includes new highway approaches to the bridge, new asphalt pavement and guardrails.

The Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE), a government-owned business entity within CDOT, is fully funding the $2.2 million project.  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:

The contractor, Lawrence Construction Co. Inc., of Littleton, CO. has set up a project hotline. Please call 888-759-6197 with any questions or concerns.

Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this or other CDOT projects is available at or by calling 511.  To receive project updates via e-mail, visit and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner.  The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Southeast Colorado.