Yampa River Bridge near Maybell set to re-open by July | CraigDailyPress.com

Yampa River Bridge near Maybell set to re-open by July

The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners discuss commissioner reports at it's weekly meeting Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Eleanor C. Hasenbeck/staff

CRAIG — The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday signed a resolution putting an end date on the closure of the Yampa River Bridge on Moffat County Road 19 near Maybell.

The bridge is set to re-open by July 10.

“We’re asking for a 90-day closure, but I am really hoping that, if we get going on this, it will be approximately three weeks once we get started, providing the water doesn’t come up,” said Dan Miller, director of the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department. “Best case scenario, in three to four weeks, we should have that end open.”

In October 2017, an inspection found the bridge’s southern structural supports had shifted. Due to the damage, the weight rating of the bridge was reduced to five tons.

The bridge was closed April 11 after failing a state inspection.

The bridge is probably more than 100 years old, according to Roy Tipton, director of county development services. It was donated by CDOT and put in place in about 1967. When it was placed, an extra support plate was installed behind the abutment, and this extra support is what appears to have shifted.

The state inspection found that the bridge had completely shifted off the supports. A makeshift repair prevented the bridge from falling. but the bridge must be lifted to be repaired properly. Miller said the county is exploring whether the most cost-effective way is to jack up the bridge using brackets or lift the bridge with a crane.

The Glenwood Springs-based engineering firm SGM Inc. was contracted in February to design repairs for the bridge.

“We can’t take a chance of something else taking place, not just for human safety, but goodness sakes, guys, it would cost us millions of dollars to replace the bridge, so we have to fix it,” Commissioner Don Cook said.

Once repairs are completed on the southern side of the bridge, Miller said the county might inspect the northern side to make sure those supports are secure.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” Miller said.

For the time being, drivers in the area will face about a 45-mile detour to cross the Yampa River.

The BOCC also took the following actions Tuesday.

• Awarded a bid to replace two 23-year-old pickup trucks used at the Moffat County Fairgrounds and for Facilities Maintenance. The county will purchase a Ford F250 for $27,255 from Cook Ford and a Ram 3500 for $27,392 from Victory Motors. The old pickups will be traded in for credit toward the new vehicles.

• The county awarded two bids to Snyder and Counts Feed. The county will pay the company $20,087.50 for herbicides and $36,626 for insecticides. Snyder and Counts was the only bidder for both chemical contracts.

• Approved the Local Marketing District’s annual Strategic Operating Plan.

• Approved resolutions for payment and transfer of payroll warrants.

• Signed an agreement with Mind Springs Health for mental health services at the Moffat County Jail.

• Signed documentation to be submitted to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs regarding a community services grant.

• Approved policy forms related to the Department of Human Services’ name change.

• Approved a cooperating agreement for roads with the U.S. Forest Service.

Contact Eleanor Hasenbeck at 970-875-1795 or ehasenbeck@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter, @elHasenbeck.