US 40 Elk River Bridge Replacement
US 40 is an important east-west national highway, one of only three east-west routes through Colorado. It provides an important regional link, serves as an alternate route to I-70 and I-80, and connects communities in northwest Colorado through Yampa River Basin ranch lands. The bridge over the East Fork of the Elk River is a critical component of a highway that also provides access to local homes, businesses, and ranches.
The Elk River Bridge on US 40 was built in 1958 and was identified for replacement in 2010 due to a low sufficiency rating. The bridge is eligible for replacement funding under the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) as a part of the FASTER Funding Legislation as well as Federal Bridge Replacement Funds. Because the bridge is functionally obsolete, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be replacing the bridge in an effort to meet current CDOT standards and maximize safety features of this section of US 40 for decades to come. As a side note, many of Colorado's bridges are in disrepair and poor condition, more than 120 across the state, many of which are used every day.
Duckles Construction, Inc. is the contractor for this $3.1 million project, which is funded through the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE).
What to Expect
During construction, the old bridge will be removed, shoulder widths will increase, and the bridge piers will be re-aligned with the river. The end product will cause the least impact possible to the surrounding area, and will improve sight distance, snow storage, and the hydraulic conditions at the bridge.
In order to maintain two lanes of traffic during all phases of construction, a temporary bridge will be located just to the north of the existing bridge, requiring a temporary shift of US 40. Once the new bridge is finished and available for use, the temporary bridge and roadway will be removed and the area will be restored to its original state.
What is the CBE?
The Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) was formed in 2009 as part of the FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) legislation. The purpose of the CBE is to finance, repair, reconstruct and replace bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated in poor condition. This additional transportation funding is essential to maintaining and improving the safety of our bridges.