New Maroon Creek bridge gets support
Crews completed one of two major support beams for the new Maroon Creek bridge Wednesday, trying to catch up after the snowy winter put the project behind schedule.Simply plowing a road to allow workers access to the construction site took three to four hours some days this winter, said Tom Metheny, project manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation. The road travels north out of the golf course into the Maroon Creek basin.”The winter was a little hard on the construction activity,” Metheny said. “A lot of time was spent plowing snow to get down to the bridge site. That slowed the activity.”
But the slight delay on the $14 million project is “nothing alarming at this time,” he said.The new bridge, just to the north of the current span, is scheduled to be ready for vehicles at the end of 2007. It will be more than double the width of the old, 32-foot bridge. Highway 82 will cross the new trestle in two fat lanes because engineers designed it to allow four lanes, if residents some day decide they want that. The 73 feet also include a 12-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle path; the current path is 4 feet wide.The area north of the golf course had a “fair amount of snow” this winter, and the road had to be in sufficient shape to allow concrete trucks and other equipment into the work site, Metheny said.
A crew of about 15 next will tackle the other support beam, or pier, on the upvalley side of the bridge and the abutments on both sides of the valley.Midland Railroad built the current Maroon Creek bridge in 1888 for use by railcars before it was refitted for automobiles, according to CDOT. The old bridge will remain in place.The planned trestle will curve slightly on both ends because it will be just to the north of the current span. The curves will allow the bridge to rejoin Highway 82.
“It’s only going to be about four feet away from the old bridge,” Metheny said.Any traffic stops and lane reductions on the highway from the bridge work will be after 7 p.m., the CDOT release says. There will be no traffic interference during the Memorial Day and July 4 holidays.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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Just in time for Halloween, the Pitkin County Board of Health voted 4-2 to reduce the size of informal gatherings from 10 to five for at least the next two weeks starting Friday. According to the public health director, officials are currently investigating 11 outbreaks in Pitkin County.