News

Intermittent Closures Near Dolores River Begin May 9

Boaters near CO 90 Bedrock Bridge cautioned to look out for "The Minion."

05.2017_Dolores River Closure Diagram.jpg



05.2017_Dolores River Closure.jpg

MONTROSE COUNTY—On Tuesday, May 9, crews will begin lifting the large precast members for the new Bedrock Bridge over the Dolores River at Colorado Highway (CO) 90. River users will encounter intermittent half-hour river closures at this location, just north of the Bedrock boat ramp, while large pieces of concrete are suspended over the river and positioned into place.

"This has been a very unique project!" said Andrea Meduna, bridge project engineer. "This past winter, when we started dismantling the old historic structure and then constructing the new bridge, we began to recognize that unusually significant snowfall in the high country would result in very favorable rafting conditions for our river friends. We truly appreciate the cooperation of the boating community as we continue our efforts to construct this new road bridge, yet provide safe access to the river."

River User Impacts & Closure Process

A flagger will be stationed at the Bedrock boat ramp to answer questions, give direction and inform boaters of the possible closure ahead. A large pre-warning yellow buoy (affectionately named "The Minion") is in place on the river approximately 1,000 feet before the Bedrock boat ramp warning boaters of potential half-hour closures.

While waiting for the river to re-open, boaters can "park" or anchor boats, rafts, or kayaks to two white buoys (with blue stripes) using ropes attached to the buoys. These two buoys are near the boat ramp. Or, if possible, for smaller crafts, wait out the closure by catching an eddy.

Be aware of a rope line of seven orange buoys across the river indicating a closure. If the white buoys are missed, please grasp the orange buoy rope.

Once crane operations are concluded and passage under the bridge construction is safe, the flagger will re-open the river (remove the orange buoy rope from across the river) and allow boaters to pass through the bridge construction zone safely.

Additional Details

  • Monday, May 8: The buoys will be placed in the water.
  • Tuesday, May 9 through Friday, May 12: Periodic half-hour river closures are anticipated.
  • Saturday, May 13 through Sunday, May 14: There will be no closures over the weekend. Please note buoys will remain in the river during the "open" condition.
  • Monday, May 15 through Friday, May 12: Dependent upon construction progress, intermittent closures may have to continue into the week.

Meduna added that signage and instructions will also be posted at Bradfield Bridge, Dove Creek Pump Station, Slick Rock, and Gypsum Valley to inform and notify the public and river users of closures on the river at Bedrock.

Highway Travel Impacts

Motorists will continue to use the temporary bridge installed just north of the old existing bridge, which allows for a detour of single-lane alternating traffic. During daytime work shifts of the dismantling process, flaggers will guide and control traffic.

The light signals will be used to control traffic during non-working hours and at night. No oversized/overweight loads are allowed on the temporary bridge.

Safety

For the safety of the traveling public and work crews, motorists are reminded that stopping on the temporary one-lane bridge is not allowed. Stopping within the construction work zone is not allowed. Please do not turn onto the dirt roads within the construction zone.

These restrictions are in place for public safety and for protection from large equipment operating in the work areas.

About the Project

This project is on CO 90, about four miles east of Bedrock and 15 miles east of the Colorado-Utah state line, in Montrose County. The new pre-cast concrete bridge structure is expected to be completed later this summer.

The new bridge will provide several improvements for the driving public including wider and higher clearance for oversized vehicles. The project cost, including design and construction, is estimated at $3.8 million.

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