Montrose, CO — The pedestrian bridge over the Uncompahgre River near East Oak Grove Road, which burned in the spring is scheduled to reopen for public use June 22.The original date to reopen the bridge was June 15, but unforeseen complications were found when making modern upgrades to the aged wooden structure. The city’s recreation bridge, a retired railroad structure that now serves as a pedestrian walkway over the river, connects city trails and was partially burned in an out-of-control brush fire on March 27.One of the complications came when attaching new materials to the structure's support base, which upon inspection, began to interfere with an existing sewer line."These items have caused a one week delay, the reopening of the pedestrian bridge is now June 22nd," said Public Works Manager Jim Scheid.Scheid said the repairs would be completed a few days in advance so city engineers could inspect the walkway to make sure the repairs were properly completed to ensure public safety.City Councilors and staff determined the bridge was “very critical” to public use and set an accelerated timetable to repair and reopen the walkway in June. The bridge is currently closed to all pedestrians.In May the council awarded $94,963.50 in expenditures to Western Gravel Contractors for the bridge repairs and the local engineering firm, DOWL, for engineering support on the project.City Engineer Scott Murphy told councilors in May an accelerated timetable had been implemented to ensure the reopening of the pedestrian bridge by mid-June.The accelerated repairs include replacing portions of the bridge's 200-foot concrete deck and the chain-link fencing that protects pedestrians as they cross. The project also involves removal and disposal of black char from the underlying bridge support structure.The city is using money from its emergency reserve fund to get the project underway while the city's claim to the Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency (CIRSA) is processed. The city filed the claim with CIRSA immediately after the fire.If the public has any questions please contact the Public Works Manager Jim Scheid at 970.240.1481.
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