Construction efforts begin for new bridge over Brush Creek
After two years of roundabout construction along Eby Creek Road, it has become remarkably easy to get in and out of Eagle.
But there will be a little wrinkle to that ease in the coming weeks as the Colorado Department of Transportation launches a bridge replacement project along U.S. Highway 6 on the west side of town. The effort will also improve drainage in the area by installing a larger culvert.
According to Bill Yost, CDOT project engineer for the Brush Creek bridge replacement, the effort should have minimal traffic impacts. Currently crews are clearing vegetation from the north side of the highway to build a temporary road and install a temporary bridge. Traffic will then be diverted to that route while crews work on the new bridge.
Yost said the budget for the new 122 foot long bridge is $3.9 million and the work is slated for completion by Nov. 15 of this year.
The new bridge will be slightly longer that the existing structure and it will reduce part of the elevation drop that currently exists along the highway.
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”That will help traffic move a little better, once it is done,” Yost said.
Depression era structure
Yost said the Brush Creek bridge dates back to 1935 and it was earmarked by CDOT for replacement.
“As these bridges reach the end of their life expectancy, structural deficiencies are identified. That’s when we decide they need to be replaced,” said Yost.
In that vein, Yost said the U.S. Highway 6 bridges over Lake Creek and Castle Creek (two miles east of Eagle) have also been identified for replacement.
Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society, has researched bridge history in Eagle County. She confirmed the Brush Creek bridge was built back in 1935 as a public works project during the Great Depression.
“During that time, the Colorado Department of Highways was doing numerous highway improvements along what was then called Highway 40 South. It was the primary east/west transportation route across the state at that time.”
Variable message signs located south of US6 west of Eagle and along Sylvan Lake Road in Eagle Ranch have been set up to inform motorists about the upcoming project. While the messages indicate the project will begin April 15, crews are plainly already at the site. “We are looking forward to a successful project and something that doesn’t cause a lot of traffic impacts,’” said Yost.
To learn more about the project, call 970-306-4541 or to receive updates, email firstname.lastname@example.org.