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County’s bridges largely stand up to scrutiny by safety inspectors

Garfield County bridges got a relatively clean bill of health from a state-sanctioned bridge inspection.

The Garfield County commissioners on Monday accepted the report from Kirkham Michael Consulting Engineers of Denver, retained by the Colorado Department of Transportation to conduct bridge inspections in the county.

The inspections are conducted on all bridges longer than 20 feet. Each bridge is inspected for damage, condition of the deck, guard rails, structure, and foundation. In all, 26 bridges were inspected in Garfield County.



However the County Road 106 bridge across the Crystal River, near Colorado Rocky Mountain School, needs to be replaced, said Hap Ellsworth, an engineer and inspector with Kirkham Michael. That will cost $262,642, he said.

That cost will be covered with federal funding under the Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, Ellsworth said.



But its replacement is not critical and doesn’t have to be done soon.

“Garfield County has no critical bridges now,” Ellsworth said.

Safety repairs needed to meet CDOT standards total $271,647. Those repairs, which range from replacing bridge decking and guard rails to clearing abutments of debris, will be handled during the regular course of maintenance, said Commissioner Larry McCown.

The 60-year-old No Name Creek bridge, which doesn’t appear to be in very good shape, is actually in good condition, Ellsworth said. However, its concrete railings and abutments are breaking down and should be repaired, he said.

“It’s showing its age,” he added.

In addition, four bridges need to be monitored during high water: two bridges crossing Divide Creek and one across the Colorado River, all on county Road 311 near Silt, and a bridge across Divide Creek and the Porter Ditch on County Road 344.

Kirkham Michael recommended adding riprap around the piers and abutments and grouting undermined foundations on those bridges. Follow-up inspections should be done after high water, the report said.

The good news is urgent bridge repairs, which Kirkham Michael recommended be made as soon as possible, amount to $2,441.

The list of repairs was not specified.


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