The county is in early stages of a project to replace the Gunnison River bridge at Escalante Canyon because of safety concerns about the structure.
The current bridge is considered "not safe," Bob Basher of the county engineering department told the county commissioners at their Feb 14 meeting.
Part of the reason for concern is that the structure shares some of the same construction techniques that were used in the large Interstate Highway System bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis, Minn., five years ago killing 13 people. The age and condition of the Escalante Bridge are also of concern. The route will provide a primary entrance to the Dominguez-Escalante NCA, noted Commission Chair Doug Atchley.
Commissioners signed off on a $155,357 contract (80 percent federal grant, 20 percent county match) with Buckhorn Geotech for "engineering and professional services and construction management" on the project.
The bridge will be paid for with a $470,000 federal grant carrying a 20 percent county matching contribution requirement.
During actual construction a temporary, single-lane bridge will be constructed to handle traffic, Basher explained.blog comments powered by Disqus