N. Routt bridge to narrow to one lane

The Glen Eden Bridge in Clark will be narrowed to one lane for the next four weeks so the deck can be replaced.

On Monday, the Routt County Road and Bridge Department started work on the Glen Eden Bridge, which is on Routt County Road 129 and is past the Clark Store and before Seedhouse Road.

While construction is being done, the county will have traffic controllers on hand. During the night and early morning, drivers on the side of the road on which the bridge is closed are expected to yield to oncoming traffic. The lane of traffic that is open has the right-of-way.

Yield signs easily should alert drivers to the situation, Road and Bridge Department Director Paul Draper said.

"It is definitely going to slow things down for a little while to say the least," Draper said.

Draper said county officials have considered replacing the top of the bridge for the past few years. However, the county questioned how to reroute traffic during the construction process.

A detour around the bridge would have required drivers to travel on a hilly, dirt road, C.R. 62, around Steamboat Lake and all the way to Hahn's Peak. County officials were concerned about causing a long detour for those who live close by on Seedhouse Road.

County commissioners said they were not willing to put that kind of hardship on the residents of North Routt.

Instead, the county decided to work on one side of the bridge at a time. Trucks with legal loads can cross the bridge, but trucks that have over-wide loads and a permit may not be allowed to go over the bridge.

The county was looking to repair the bridge during a slow time of year. But, Draper said, with tourism in the summer, hunting traffic in the fall, snow and ice in the winter, and high water flows in the spring, a slow time was hard to identify.

The rehabilitation of an older bridge structure occurred in the 1970s, Draper said. The deck of the bridge is rusted and in need of repair. The guardrails also will be replaced. The project is estimated to cost about $26,000.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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