CO 92 Gunnison Bridge Construction

About the Project:

The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. begin construction of a new bridge in late November 2021 that will replace the historic structure on Colorado Highway 92 over the Gunnison River. The existing bridge is a 383-foot, three-span steel Camelback Pony truss built in 1938. It is located  at Mile Point 6.42, just east of Delta and east of the CO 92 junction with Colorado Highway 65. During construction, a temporary bridge will allow motorists to continue using CO 92. The project also includes repaving a section of CO 92 between MPs 4 and 7. Repaving will take place during summer 2022, and completion of the new bridge is expected in November 2022.

The new bridge will be a three-span concrete girder structure with two sets of concrete piers and will span the Gunnison River at the same location as it is today. The total proposed bridge span length will be shortened by roughly 17 feet and raised to accommodate freeboard requirements. Designed for a 100-year lifespan, the new structure will be constructed with two 12-foot lanes, two 10-foot shoulders and standard bridge railing.

Side view of CO 92 Gunnison River Bridge

Side view of CO 92 Gunnison River Bridge

Project Facts

  • Cost: $17 Million
  • Contractor: Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co.
  • Timeline: November 2021 - November 2022
  • Location: CO Hwy. 92 bridge over the Gunnison River, about 6.5 miles east of Delta and just east of the junction with CO 65.


Work Schedule & Traffic Impacts

  • CO 92 will continue to be open to the traveling public during bridge construction. A two-lane detour will send vehicles, including trucks, over a temporary bridge installed on the south side of the existing structure.
  • The speed limit for the detour and temporary bridge will be posted at 55 mph to increase safety for both motorists and workers.
  • When surface treatment of CO 92 is underway in the summer of 2022, motorists will likely encounter single-lane, alternating travel during daytime hours.
  • Please see CDOT's traveler information site at www.cotrip.org for weekly travel impacts.
  • To request weekly emailed project updates, please call or email the project team (contact information is in the top right corner of this page).

About the Existing Historic Bridge

The 82-year-old steel truss bridge has both structural and functional deficiencies, making it eligible for funding through the Statewide Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise (SBTE), the government-owned business within CDOT that finances, repairs, reconstructs and replaces designated bridges meeting specific criteria (see https://www.codot.gov/programs/BridgeEnterprise). The SBTE is funded through vehicle registration fees. Two spans from the historic structure will be adopted by the City of Delta and one by Delta County.

Functionally, the bridge is too narrow to safely and efficiently handle the volume or weight of traffic it receives today. The structure is geometrically substandard and rated as “poor,” with a 30-foot width that is narrower than the 40-foot width of the roadway approach. The current average daily traffic (ADT) across the bridge is 5,300; the projected 2040 ADT is 5,998. Its load capacity was reduced in 2016, rendering the structure in serious condition.

The existing bridge also has the following structural deficiencies:

  • The bridge has narrow, three-foot shoulders, providing only a small margin for error for vehicular travel across the structure. Additionally, narrow shoulders present a safety hazard for pedestrians crossing the bridge or for maintenance workers accessing the bridge next to traffic.
  • The need for continual maintenance heightens safety risks for maintenance crews.
  • The existing bridge has a sufficiency rating of 27 out of 100. In addition, the bridge is load restricted and is posted for low-truck-weight capacity.
  • The bridge is at risk of scour, which is the removal of streambed material caused by swiftly moving water from around bridge abutments or piers. The existing structure does not meet freeboard requirements (referring to the clearance for high water). Currently, the Gunnison River flow hits the lower portion of the structure during periods of high flow, requiring CDOT maintenance crews to remove debris off the bridge following the event. In some instances, high-flow debris has damaged the structure, as well as its west pier.
  • The concrete curbs have areas of deterioration and spalling, requiring patching in the past. The deck, piers and abutments have all experienced cracking; the stringers (longitudinal steel support beams) are rusted; and the trusses have extensive corrosion.