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More damage discovered in bridge support

Allyn Harvey
Aspen Times Staff Writer

During a recent inspection of the Maroon Creek bridge, Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews found a cracked pier footing, or pedestal, in the bridge’s support system.

It is the second time in three months that CDOT crews have discovered major structural damage to the support system. In October, two of the massive sandstone blocks that support the downvalley end of the bridge cracked, one of them badly.

Heavy trucks were forced to detour around the bridge via Cemetery Lane and McLain Flats Road while repairs were made.



“Since we found the initial crack back in October, maintenance crews have been inspecting the bridge frequently,” said CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks. “When they found the problem, they reported it to the bridge division.”

Repairs begin today at 9 a.m. and are expected to take two weeks.




Crews may at times reduce traffic to a single lane between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. However, CDOT anticipates being able to complete the repairs with minimal impacts to traffic.

The damage is on the third pier from the west end of the bridge, under the upvalley side. The pier is on the steep slope below the bridge’s abutment, the support that joins the structure with the roadway.

The repair will involve encapsulating the existing rock foundation with reinforced concrete.

At times, crews may need to lower materials or pump concrete from equipment on the bridge deck, forcing them to close one lane.

Crews will be off the road by noon on Friday and, weather permitting, will complete the project on Thursday, Jan. 15.

[Allyn Harvey’s e-mail address is aharvey@aspentimes.com]

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