US 24 Bridge Temporarily Repaired at Johnson Village

May 10, 2016 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Pre-scheduled permanent repairs expected later this summer

CHAFFEE COUNTY - Temporary measures have been taken to open the bridge to traffic on US 24 near Johnson Village. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has anchored one inch thick steel plates onto the deck of the bridge allowing for traffic to flow in both directions. The temporary steel panels are on the east end of the structure secured to both the west and east bound lanes. Drivers will be advised through signage to drive with caution over the bridge.

“The bridge is sound,” said Arthur Miller, CDOT Alamosa resident engineer. “This bridge has already been scheduled for deck repair and maintenance in July. We have been patiently waiting for a pair of Great Horned Owls to finish nesting and their young fledglings to set off on their own.”    

The steel plates will remain in place until the owlets have fledged and are able to survive on their own.  The owl family will be observed and surveyed by biologists with anticipation that the owlets will be able to take flight sometime in June.  

“Once we know we are not endangering the owls we will have the contractor come in and do the permanent repair work under their awarded contract,” Miller concluded.

CDOT officials will continue to monitor the surface deck of the bridge. Should any additional deterioration occur repairs would be made immediately, to ensure public safety.  

The damage was first reported on Friday, May 6 when CDOT maintenance crews were informed of a two ft. diameter hole on the deck of the bridge. The hole was repaired with a steel plate the same day.

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CDOT crews assess the damage to the west bound lane of US 24 Arkansas River Bridge near Johnson Village, Chaffee County.

CDOT Crews have secured 1 inch thick steel plates onto the deck of the bridge for traffic to flow uninterrupted in both directions until the bridge can be repaired permanently later this summer after a nearby family of owls have fled their nest.