It’s construction time at C’dale entrance | AspenTimes.com

It’s construction time at C’dale entrance

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE ” Construction is under way on the Highway 133 bridge spanning the Roaring Fork River at the entrance to Carbondale, but officials don’t anticipate traffic delays during the project.

Work began on Monday, raising concerns among residents who fear the traffic problems that sometimes plague major street projects. But Colorado Department of Transportation resident engineer Pete Mertes anticipates the project will run smoothly, with minimal traffic impacts.

“Impacts should be minimal for 95 percent of the project,” Mertes said. “We have already heard a few concerns from people wondering if traffic will be impacted, but realistically it’s going to be impact-free.”

CDOT program engineer Joe Elsen agreed.

“I know people think about traffic problems with these projects, but we really thought about the planning and how to minimize traffic problems and we think we’ve got it nailed,” he said.

The existing two-lane configuration will not be compromised as crews work, CDOT officials said.

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The project will increase the two-lane bridge at the entrance to four lanes by adding a second bridge structure and then combining the two.

The project will also add a second turn lane and increase the length of turn lanes on westbound Highway 82 for downvalley traffic coming into town. The traffic signal at the intersection of 133 and 82 will be replaced toward the conclusion of the project. A retaining wall and drainage improvements are also part of the project.

CDOT contracted SEMA Construction Inc., of Centennial, for the $4.64 million project. The first phase consists of installing temporary excavation shoring and placement of bridge pier foundation and abutments; the work should be completed in December.

Remaining phases will resume in March 2008. Traffic will be allowed on the bridge during construction of the new bridge, then traffic will be diverted to the new structure until upgrades to the existing bridge are completed.