Little Thompson River Bridge Replacement on CO 60 and CO 257

Five-Month Closure Begins Jan. 16

From Jan. 16 through mid-May 2018, Colorado Highway 60 will be closed to all traffic between County Road 19 and Colorado Highway 257 as crews replace a bridge. Expect delays.

While plans originally called for a complete closure of CO 257, crews will instead build a temporary road diversion (aka, a shoofly) to reduce the impact to local businesses, residents and travelers. Shoofly construction on CO 257 will start in mid-January, just north of the bridge over Little Thompson River to CO 257 just south of the bridge.

Detour: Crews will divert traffic along county roads 52, 17, 50 and 13 (Colorado Boulevard). Residents will be able to access CO 60 from county roads 13 o 19.

Project Facts

  • Cost: $6 million

Project Team

  • Contractor(s): Flatiron Constructors

Starting in mid-October 2017, crews began removing and replacing bridges over the Little Thompson River on Colorado Highway 60 and Colorado Highway 257. This permanent repair work is necessary following the 2013 flood. Work is expected to continue until September 2018.

This project will:

  • Improve the quality of the highway, providing better drivability for motorists;
  • Ensure safe travel over bridges;
  • Provide resiliency to roadway and bridges to sustain future storm events; and
  • Protect roadway embankment.

CO 60

CO 257


Normal working hours:
7 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some Saturday work beginning in mid-January 2018

Traffic Impacts

  • The team anticipates a minimal impact to traffic from October to mid-January 2018, with minor shoulder closures.
  • Construction will include removing and replacing both bridges, replacing pavement and restoring bank with native grass seed and mulch.
  • CO 60 Closed in mid-January During Bridge Replacement
    • Detour: Weld County Road 13 north to WCR 50, east to WCR 17, north to WCR 52 and then south on CO 257 back onto CO 60
  • CO 257 Closed in mid-May for Bridge Replacement
    • Detour: West onto WCR 52, south on WCR 17, west onto WCR 50, then south on WCR 13 back to CO 60.


CO 60

CO 60 is a main gateway to local agricultural activities, oil and gas development, and the Town of Milliken—to US 85 and I-25.

During the 2013 floods, Milliken and portions of Johnstown were completely isolated due to flood damage to CO 60 and other nearby roads. Flood waters overtopped CO 60 for about half a mile in and west of Milliken.

Among the damage to the CO 60 bridge that spans the Little Thompson River: erosion, embankment washout at the abutments, guardrail loss and minor damage to the channel banks. Due to the large amount of debris that collected downstream on the adjacent railroad bridge, the embankments in between the two bridges were eroded as well.

The bridge that spans the South Platte River three miles east of Milliken was overtopped, and the roadway itself was also overtopped for approximately 1,000 feet on the north end of the bridge. The north abutment of the bridge was eroded, and 10 feet of roadway pavement and embankment were washed out, exposing the bridge support piles. Large amounts of debris and sediment were deposited upstream and underneath the bridge.

Temporary Repairs

Crews reopened the highway on Sept. 21, 2013 after making the following repairs:

  • They repaired the roadway around the damaged abutments
  • They filled and repaired the exposed piling and concrete abutment structures.
  • They regraded and backfilled embankment slopes to on the south side of the roadway.
  • They replaced and repaired guardrail.

CO 257

CO 257 is a primary commuter access route between Greeley and the Milliken/Johnstown area, connecting CO 60 in Milliken and US 34 about 10 miles west of Greeley. In September 2013, floodwaters from the Little Thompson River overtopped the roadway in Milliken from the intersection with CO 60 north to where CO 257 crosses the main channel of the river.

The bridge there sustained significant damage to its abutments, and part of the roadway was washed out. Farther north, where CO 257 crosses the Big Thompson River, similar damage occurred to the bridge there as more than half a mile of roadway was overtopped.

Temporary Repairs

Crews reopened the highway on Sept. 29, 2013 after making the following repairs:

  • They repaired the roadway around the damaged abutments
  • They filled and repaired the exposed piling and concrete abutment structures.
  • They repaired the roadway embankments and reset damaged guardrail sections.
  • At the Little Thompson site, crews regraded and repaired the east roadway embankment and ditch.

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