Browns Park Swinging Bridge construction delayed until spring
Originally slated to begin this month, construction on the Swinging Bridge in Browns Park has been delayed until spring, said Moffat County Director of Development Services Roy Tipton.
Bids for the project came in higher than originally estimated last month, sending Tipton back out to look for additional funding. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to fill the gap by committing $300,000 to the project.
The bridge has been closed to motor vehicles since it was damaged in 2014 when a tractor over the weight limit fell through some of the planks. It offers the only crossing over the Green River that is accessible year-round to connect western Moffat County with eastern Utah. The new bridge will be rated up to 14 tons, providing greater access to firefighters, hunters and other users.
Though an engineer’s estimate pegged costs around $1.36 million, all three bids opened by Moffat County on Aug. 23 came in higher than expected:
• $1,741,477 — Mueller Construction Services
• $1,931,855 — Hamilton Construction Co.
• $2,038,105 — Structures, Inc.
“We’re still moving ahead and it still isn’t costing the county any additional money,” Tipton said. “Everybody who is partnering on this thing, they all want it reopened as quickly as possible.”
Tipton hopes to formally award the bid as soon as Tuesday.
Other funding partners on the project include: the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Department of Transportation, the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition in eastern Utah (Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Sevier, San Juan and Uintah counties), Colorado State Land Board, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Utah Department of Natural Resources, Vermillion Ranch, Questar Pipeline Company, O.A.R.S and Don Hatch River Expeditions, plus $60,000 from an insurance settlement related to the 2014 incident.