Seventeen aging bridges across five southern Colorado counties are set to be replaced in the coming months, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
All 17 of those structures are rated in poor condition, according to Michelle Puelen, a spokesperson for CDOT.
"Poor condition doesn’t necessarily mean the bridge is crumbling or going to collapse," she said. "What it means is it’s reached its life span maximum."
Puelen said CDOT monitors about 3,500 bridges across Colorado. The 17 being replaced all have a component of wood within their structure. A number of factors tend to age a bridge, including weather and the amount of traffic it sustains. Wood tends to wear and age a bit faster than other building materials, according to Puelen.
A federal grant of nearly $12.5 million will partially fund the project, which is expected to cost $43 million. The rest of the funding comes from the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, which is funded through annual vehicle registration surcharges based on size and weight.
Work begins the final week of July on bridges in Park and Otero counties and is expected to continue into 2024.
People can sign up for text alerts regarding the bridge construction on CDOT’s website.
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