State resurfacing eight interstate bridges

The Colorado Department of Transportation has started to rehabilitate eight bridges on Interstate 70 west of Fruita, but the work has nothing to do with any high-river damage.

The project, which will take until November to complete, is to remove the top two inches of each structure’s deck and resurface them.

As a result, a three-mile stretch of the interstate will be reduced to single-lane traffic going in both directions during the duration of the work, said Nancy Shanks, CDOT spokeswoman.

“It’s just from wear and tear on the bridges from lots of heavy truck traffic and lots of winter, you know, freeze-thaw,” she said. “It’s the bridge deck needing a pick-me-up.”

The high spring runoff down Colorado River in recent months did some damage to the embankment near the highway in that area, but not the bridges’ structure, she said.

As a result, the department is expected to announce another project that is to begin soon to reinforce sections of the embankment and do some erosion mitigation beneath four of the bridges.

Shanks said the Colorado Transportation Commission approved additional emergency funding for that embankment project, but an actual cost estimate was not available.

“The damage has been fairly major to the embankment, so it’s important that we get that shored up,” she said. “But there was no damage to the bridge structures. This is preventative to make sure there will be no future damage to the bridge structures.”

The bridge resurfacing project will cost about $3.6 million.

The project’s contractor, Denver-based Structure’s Inc., is to use a method known as hydro-demolition to remove portions of the deck and to repair various cracks and holes that will require a deeper patch.

Other improvements to that three-mile section will include new guardrails, replacing the existing bridge rails and repairing the roadway approaches to all of the bridges.

The work zone will extend from mile markers 16 to 19 just west of the Fruita interchange.

The speed limit will be reduced to 40 mph, a 12-foot-wide width restriction will be in place, and the traffic fines will be doubled through the work zone for the duration of the project, Shanks said.


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