Bridge Replacement Project Underway On US 34 Near Estes Park
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has begun a project to replace two bridges on US 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon between milepost 65.4 and 66.3 just east of Estes Park. Both structures are steel truss bridges that were constructed in 1937 and are in poor condition.
“These two are the last steel truss bridges along US 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon and are well over 70 years old,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Scott Ellis. “It is essential that we replace these components of our aging infrastructure not only for safety, but to ensure the operation of our highway system in the future.”
During the first several months of the project, crews will construct the caissons and abutments for the new structures. This work will require single-lane alternating traffic at both bridges from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays. Minor delays are expected.
In early 2010, crews will begin major construction of the bridges and will demolish the existing bridges. This work will require two 12-day full closures of US 34 to allow crews to remove the existing bridges, install girders for the new bridges and construct the bridge deck.
“We realize that the full closures are going to be a huge inconvenience for folks, but there is no other way we can replace the bridges without the closures,” add Ellis. “We have been working closely with emergency service providers and local jurisdictions to ensure that the closure goes as smooth as possible and that residents can still receive the services they need.”
The first closure is tentatively scheduled for February 1, 2010 through February 12, 2010 at the upper bridge located at milepost 65.4. The second closure is tentatively scheduled for March 1, 2010 through March 12, 2010 at the lower bridge located at milepost 66.3. These dates are subject to change based upon weather, the fabrication of girders and other construction elements.
For more information about the project, visit www.coloradodot.info/projects/us-34-truss-bridges.
SEMA Construction, Inc. is the contractor for this $3.8 million project scheduled to be complete by Memorial Day 2010.