Construction begins at Carbondale entrance |

Construction begins at Carbondale entrance

JOHN GARDNERGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Construction is underway on the State Highway 133 bridge spanning the Roaring Fork River entering Carbondale.Work began on Monday, raising concerns among residents who fear the traffic problems that sometimes plague major street projects like this. But Colorado Department of Transportation resident engineer Pete Mertes anticipates the project will run smoothly with minimal traffic impacts.”Impacts should be minimal for 95 percent of the project,” Mertes said. “We have already heard a few concerns from people wondering if traffic will be impacted, but realistically it’s going to be impact free.”CDOT program engineer Joe Elsen agreed with Mertes saying that he was looking forward to the project.”I know people think about traffic problems with these projects, but we really thought about the planning and how to minimize traffic problems and we think we’ve got it nailed.”The current two-lane configuration will not be compromised as crews work. Overall, the project will increase the two-lane bridge entrance to four lanes, while adding a second turn lane and increasing the length of turn lanes on westbound Highway 82 for downvalley traffic coming into town. The traffic signal at the intersection of 133 and 82 will be replaced toward the end of the project along with a retaining wall at the bridge widening and drainage improvements.CDOT contracted SEMA Construction Inc., of Centennial, for the $4.64 million project. The current phase consists of installing temporary excavation shoring and placement of bridge pier foundation and abutments and should be completed in December. Remaining phases will resume in March of next year. Traffic will be allowed on the bridge during construction of the new bridge, then traffic will be diverted to the new structure until upgrades to the existing bridge are completed.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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