CDOT work begins this week on Mulberry Bridge (SH14); eastbound detour starts later this month

September 15, 2014 - Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - The work to begin replacing the Mulberry Street (State Highway 14) bridge over the Poudre River in Fort Collins will start this week with minimal impact on drivers. However, a major detour is planned to begin later this month that will be in place for the next year.

Originally built in 1949, the existing bridge is structurally deficient and warrants replacement as part of the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE). The existing bridge will be replaced with one that is wider to meet current standards, accommodate bicycle lanes and provide sidewalks for pedestrians. CDOT will also construct new retaining walls and storm sewer, an improved 10-foot wide path under the east side of the bridge, as well as reconstruct the east access to the Waste Water Treatment plant.

This project will be coordinated with a separate project that will relocate the pedestrian/trail bridge from the project site. Unfortunately, many of Colorado's bridges are in disrepair or poor condition (more than 120 across the state), many of which are used every day. Replacing this bridge will not only create a safer ride for motorists, but also create a more efficient transportation system to support economic and job growth in the area.

The total cost of the construction project is approximately $9.6 million. Funds will be part of the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE), which was formed in 2009 as part of the FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) legislation. The purpose of the CBE is to finance, repair, reconstruct and replace bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated in poor condition. This additional transportation funding is essential to allowing CDOT to better maintain and improve the safety of our bridges.

The active construction zone is between Riverside Avenue and South Lemay Avenue. This 0.3 mile stretch of State Highway 14 is used by approximately 25,000 vehicles per day. Traffic impacts and delays are expected.

CDOT worked closely with the City of Fort Collins to determine detour routes. For westbound traffic, the two westbound lanes will transition to the existing eastbound lanes between South Lemay Avenue and Riverside Avenue. This will enable the contractor to remove and construct the north half of the bridge during the Poudre River’s “low-flow” season this winter. Then westbound traffic will shift to the new lanes while the south side of the bridge is under construction.

The detour routes for eastbound State Highway 14 traffic will be in place for the duration of the project, expected to be late 2015. Two routes will be signed - one to return to State Highway 14 via southbound Riverside Avenue to northbound South Lemay Avenue; and one for I-25-bound traffic via southbound Riverside Avenue to eastbound East Prospect Road. Two intersections along the detour route will undergo temporary modifications to accommodate additional traffic - Riverside Avenue/South Lemay Avenue; and Riverside Avenue/East Prospect Road. These intersection modifications involve median demolition, signing, striping and signal timing modifications.

Eastbound detours:

Planned Construction Detours

Trail users – The Poudre River Trail will be closed in the vicinity of the bridge for the duration of the construction. At this time, CDOT is anticipating the River Trail to be opened between Lincoln Avenue and State Highway 14 once the private redevelopment projects in the northwest quadrant of State Highway 14/South Lemay Avenue are complete with their construction adjacent to the Poudre River. At that time, a temporary east/west trail connection is anticipated to be constructed from the river to South Lemay Avenue as a detour crossing of State Highway 14. Trail users will use the sidewalks on South Lemay Avenue for north/south travel.

The best way to stay up to date on project progress and impacts is to sign up for email and text alerts. Go to CDOT’s website at and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Enter your information and choose “SH 14 Over Poudre River” under the “Projects” list.

Visit the project website at for more information including the latest Poudre River Trail closures and detours.

If you have questions or concerns, please leave a message on the project information line at 970-889-6950 or send an email to: [email protected].