Bridge ready for reinstallation near Carbondale

A 110-year-old part of the history of the Roaring Fork Valley will be returned to its proper place next month after being removed for renovation.

The Satank Bridge near Carbondale is scheduled to be returned to its abutment the first week of January, according to a news release from Tom Newland, Garfield County’s spokesman for the rehabilitation project.

The daylong installation will require a half-mile detour of the Rio Grande Trail along the Satank Road, and closure of the river to boating and fishing from the Koziel Boat Ramp through the project area, about a half-mile downstream of state Colorado Highway 133. The exact closure date will be announced later, and it hinges on completion of the bridge’s reassembly, which is weather-dependent.

Pueblo Bridge Co. designed and built the timber and metal wagon bridge for Garfield County in 1900, for $3,250, the county reports. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

Colorado Preservationist, a magazine for a historic preservation group by the same name, wrote in 2003 that the bridge “is the last remaining timber wagon truss in Colorado from the 19th century, thus ranking among the state’s most important early spans.”

The wood had weathered, however, and the bridge had fallen into disrepair. At the urging of residents in the Carbondale area, Garfield County committed about $400,000 to the bridge’s restoration, and the county’s Engineering Department is overseeing the project.

According to the county, History Colorado, also known as the Colorado Historical Society, committed $297,500 to the work, its largest single project grant ever.

This fall, the bridge was removed by PSI Crane & Rigging for disassembly. Oregon-based Western Wood Structures worked on the rehabilitation and fabricated replacement pieces.

Gould Construction handled refurbishing of a red stone abutment that had settled.

Although the structure recently had come to be known as the pink bridge because of its color of the past few decades, it will be repainted in its original black.

The structure will be open only to pedestrian and nonmotorized use. It will reopen in the spring after paving of the bridge approaches occurs.

Anyone with questions about the project or the river closure and trail detour may contact Newland at 927-4645 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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