Satank Bridge project near Carbondale gets go-ahead
December 16, 2009
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – One of the Roaring Fork Valley’s historic bridges will be getting a facelift next year, courtesy of the Colorado Historical Society and Garfield County.
The Garfield County commissioners on Monday agreed to accept a grant from the state of up to $297,500 to pay for half of the renovation of the Satank Bridge near Carbondale, which is estimated at this point to cost around $595,000 for the construction work alone.
The other half has been budgeted by Garfield County, according to County Manager Ed Green.
Popularly known as the old “Pink Bridge,” it stretches across the Roaring Fork River from the Satank neighborhood on the southern bank, to a frontage road leading to Highway 82 on the northern bank.
The structure has been in place for nearly 110 years, although because of severe deterioration of the planking and other structural problems, it has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1994 and to pedestrian and all other users since 2003.
According to Jeff Nelson of the county engineering department, the actual cost of the rehabilitation will not be known until the county gets bids from area contractors.
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Nelson said on Monday that he will be soliciting those bids soon, and that construction could start this spring.
The project will involve lifting the bridge off its abutments, repairing both the bridge structure and the abutments, and then replacing the bridge on its new foundation.
The commissioners voted to go ahead with the project despite some concerns from county attorney Don DeFord about “potential statutory and constitutional violations” related to the contract between the county and the state.
DeFord told the commissioners that the county does not hold title to the bridge right of way, and instead holds only an easement, which is contrary to the county’s codes regarding roads and bridges.
“We have to take a risk,” remarked Commissioner John Martin, “that the public access will remain.”
… It’s a risk, but it’s a bridge we’re saving, so it’s worth the risk.”
Commissioner Tresi Houpt noted that the county’s first budget for matching funds to fix the bridge, when it first came up several years ago, was for $50,000.
Nelson, who said the engineering alone has cost roughly $80,000 so far, noted that at one point he had estimated the entire project would cost approximately $800,000.