Carbondale chips in for Satank bridge restoration |

Carbondale chips in for Satank bridge restoration

Jeremy Heiman
Carbondale correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Trina Ortega/Valley JournalCarbondale trustees on Tuesday agreed to another $5,000 to help Garfield County with a matching grant to preserve the old Satank bridge north of town. The bridge has been closed to vehicles and foot traffic for some time. The hope is to restore the bridge as part of the area trails system.

CARBONDALE ” The old Satank bridge has some friends on the Carbondale Town Council; on Tuesday, trustees agreed to chip in some funds for its restoration.

The bridge, built in 1902, has been in disrepair since before it was taken out of service in 1994. Efforts to raise money to repair the structure began in 2002, with a grant application to the Colorado Historical Society by Carbondale Trails Commission chairman John Hoffmann, who is now a town trustee.

Though it stands outside the town limits, spanning the Roaring Fork River downstream from the Highway 133 bridge, the Satank bridge is of value to Carbondale as a trail connection and because of its historic nature.

Hoffmann said it’s a rare bridge with beautiful engineering, but wood that was used for structural purposes has deteriorated and must be replaced.

The original estimate to restore the bridge was $120,000, but escalating costs and further study of the bridge have driven the figure much higher. The grant approved by the Colorado Historical Society was almost $90,000, while Garfield County chipped in $30,000.

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However, recent estimates ” which include moving the bridge off site to do the restoration work and to fix the wing walls in the river ” have indicated funding for the project would fall short. Carbondale Recreation Director Jeff Jackel told the trustees that Garfield County’s assistant engineer said the total cost may be as much as $600,000.

Any funding that Carbondale can offer toward the project has to come from the town’s recreation sales and use tax fund, and it won’t be clear how much is available from that fund until the town gets into its budget process in the fall. Meanwhile, Garfield County intends to apply for another grant from the state historical society, but must do so by Oct. 1, Jackel said. The town’s contribution will help the county nail down its grant, he said.

Squeezed between the need to put up some money soon and the uncertainty of what’s available, the trustees agreed Tuesday to offer $5,000 initially to help the county with its grant proposal.

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