Bridge work to close section of 24 Road
As soon as the water empties from the Grand Valley Canal, a Mesa County project to replace three bridges on 24 Road north of Interstate 70 will get under way and close 24 Road between I and I 1/2 roads.
The three canal crossings set for replacement are among eight structures that straddle the waterway north of I-70. All receive structural inspections every other year and were built 45 to 55 years ago.
The three to be rebuilt are classified as “functionally obsolete” but aren’t seeing significant deterioration, according to county officials. They were simply next up on the county’s priority list.
“When they were built, they were wide enough for the traffic that they had on them. But nowadays, they’re really too narrow for 2,000 cars a day,” county spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said.
The bridges today are just 32 feet wide — two 12-foot lanes with narrow, 4-foot shoulders on either side. The new structures will be about 60 feet wide, according to plans.
The project was publicly bid on, and the winning bidder was Mountain Valley Contracting Inc., which estimates the cost of the project at a little more than $1.5 million.
All three replacements are within a half-mile of each other, so the idea of doing the trio in one stretch made sense due to the economies of scale that are possible. The county will only need to close the road once, and savings will be realized in terms of buying materials and other operational efficiencies, Peterson said.
“It just made sense to do all three at once to minimize the inconvenience for people who use the road and live in the area,” she said.
The neighborhood is far from densely populated, but the road does serve as a main artery for the residents who live in the area. Because it’s a primary road, any planned future improvements to 24 Road would have to wait until after the bridges are replaced, Peterson said.
The road is expected to be closed starting Oct. 22.
The project is expected to be completed by May 15; the canal typically fills with water around the first week of April each year.
Plans call for 24 Road to be closed at I Road, and drivers will follow a detour that will take them west to 23 1/2 Road, then north to I 1/2 Road.