Bayfield bridge replacement project starting

Preliminary work on replacing the old green bridges could start on Monday. Enlargephoto

Times file photo by Carole McWilliams

Preliminary work on replacing the old green bridges could start on Monday.

Initial work to replace the two old green bridges on Bayfield Parkway started on Monday. Traffic was reduced to one alternating lane

Town Manager Chris La May discussed the issue with town planning commissioners on Tuesday, March 14.

It's possible that the bridges could be closed to traffic by the end of March, he advised. If everything goes perfectly, the project could be finished in late October or November, he said. Project pre-construction meetings with the contractor were scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

The project contract with SEMA Construction was approved in early February for up to $4.57 million, with $2.53 million of that coming from CDOT off-system bridge grants and a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant for the trail extension. Additional costs for engineering and possibly more environmental or sensitive species mitigation will put the total cost above $5 million.

The project has been in the works since 2011 when the town received $6.8 million from the Colorado Department of Transportation to take over Bayfield Parkway (previously U.S. Highway 160B) from end to end. Planning ramped up in 2014 but was slowed by wetland and endangered species issues. The bridges date from the early 1930s and have been listed as functionally obsolete.

The replacement will include extension of the pedestrian trail in Eagle Park under the east side of the east (main channel) bridge to Joe Stephenson Park, then north around the old track and back south to the park bathrooms.