Repairs to the Mad Creek Bridge on Routt County Road 129 should be mostly complete before early June, in time for the Steamboat Springs marathon and the Fourth of July traffic.
Drivers can expect slowed traffic starting in early May and lasting for the month.
On Tuesday, Routt County commissioners chose Duckels Construction to do the project. Duckels Construction bid about $270,000 for the project, said Routt County Road and Bridge Director Paul Draper.
The county already paid the $25,000 cost of the girder, bringing the total project cost to about $300,000. In earlier cost estimates, the county expected it would cost about half of that price.
One of seven steel and concrete girders holding up the bridge has deteriorated and needs to be replaced, Draper said. The damage was discovered two years ago in a bridge inspection.
Water apparently leaked into the girder and caused the concrete to disintegrate, leaving only the steel, Draper said.
"It's kind of like a rusty car," Draper said. "It might last awhile; it might not. It does compromise the structural integrity at some point and time."
The remaining six girders are in good condition, Draper said, so the damaged one should be repaired before it creates an emergency situation and becomes more costly. The county is paying for the costs of repairing the bridge.
County officials discussed the pros and cons of repairing the bridge during the spring, when water levels are high. A priority, Draper said, was to have repairs finished before the marathon and the busy summer season.
While construction is going on through May, the northbound lane on the bridge will be closed and traffic will alternate because of a traffic light, Draper said.
The repairs also will help rehabilitate the bridge, by adding a pedestrian walkway and approach rail, Draper said. The steel rail will cost about $13,000, and the improved walkway could cost about $50,000, he said. County officials felt it was efficient to improve the bridge while repairs were being done.
The 85-foot-long bridge was built in 1981. Hikers and bikers frequently use it as a connection between the Hot Springs and Mad Creek trails.
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