Satank Bridge restoration to begin on November 1 |

Satank Bridge restoration to begin on November 1

Carrie Click

Preservationists and government officials who want to rehabilitate a 103-year-old historical bridge badly in need of repair near Carbondale have faced a long and winding road. That journey moved closer to ending this week.The Satank Bridge, located over the Roaring Fork River northwest of Carbondale, is one of Colorado’s oldest bridges and the longest-span timber-truss bridge in the state, according to Colorado Preservation Inc. Because of safety concerns, the one-lane bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since the mid-1980s. Since then, metal signs reading “No public access, dangerous bridge” have been placed on the bridge. Two years ago, spearheaded by John Hoffmann, the Carbondale Trails Committee started the long process in restoring the bridge for nonmotorized use. In its current state, the bridge was expected to last only another couple of years before falling into the river, said Bentley Henderson, Carbondale assistant city manager. Much of its metal support components have rusted away, as well as the iron pins that hold the structure together. The north and south abutments must also be repaired. Colorado Preservation Inc. named the bridge as one of Colorado’s most endangered places in 2003, a distinction that helped in the bridge’s bid for a grant from the State Historical Fund, a program of the Colorado Historical Society.Last January, the Carbondale Trails Committee received a $89,100 grant from the State Historical Fund. Combined with a $30,250 grant from Garfield County, and a $5,000 grant from the town of Carbondale, the trails committee now has the nearly $125,000 needed for the repair work. The State Historical Fund grant money has not been secured since there was confusion regarding which entity actually owns the bridge. The SHF was under the understanding that the town of Carbondale owns the structure, but Garfield County actually owns the bridge.At the Garfield County commissioner meeting this week, commissioners formalized their participation in the rehabilitation project by authorizing the county’s matching grant funds and moving forward with an intergovernmental agreement with Carbondale. After Garfield County signs the contract with the SHF and enters into an IGA with Carbondale, the actual grant funds will be released, Henderson said. Construction is set to begin Nov. 1, though Henderson said the actual start date will be a function of how quickly the contract and the IGA are completed. The project will take about 180 days to complete and be ready for nonmotorized traffic, Henderson estimated. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.comthe bridges of garfield countyThree of Garfield County’s bridges are accepted into the National and State historical registrars, and are listed in the Directory of Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. They are, according to the directory “the best examples of their types remaining in place in Colorado.”• SATANK BRIDGECounty Rd. 106, over the Roaring Fork River• SOUTH CANYON BRIDGECounty Rd. 134, over the Colorado River• RIFLE BRIDGESouth of Rifle, over the Colorado River, off I-70 approach

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