CDOT plans to finish Highway 34 bridge south of Grand Lake by winter |

CDOT plans to finish Highway 34 bridge south of Grand Lake by winter

Construction continues on the Highway 34 bridge south of Grand Lake on Wednesday. Crews hope to complete the project before winter.
Amy Golden /

Engineers aim to open a new bridge over US Highway 34 near Grand Lake by this winter.

Crews have been working to replace the bridge spanning the Colorado River west of Shadow Mountain Lake, roughly 2.5 miles south of Grand Lake. Currently, drivers are using a temporary bridge erected this summer.

According to Bob Wilson, northwest regional communications manager for the Colorado Department of Transportation, the agency hopes to have the new bridge open soon but dates are not definite.

The project, which began in April, had been slated for completion by the end of October, but heavy snowstorms paused construction last month.

The $4.2 million bridge will add roughly 17 feet of additional shoulder space to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians. The former bridge was roughly 30 feet wide, while the new bridge will measure 47 feet.

Replacing the bridge was prioritized by CDOT because of concerns about the deteriorating structure, which had reached the end of its design life. The old bridge was constructed in 1938.

Construction was conducted in phases, starting with building a temporary bridge for traffic diversion, the demolition of the existing bridge and construction of the new permanent bridge. Once the bridge is finished, the final phase of the project will be the demolition of the temporary bridge.

While crews hope to finish bridge work by this winter, some work will be left for the spring, including landscaping and other items that require warmer weather, according to Wilson.

Speed limits throughout the area remain 25 mph as construction continues and occasional one-lane traffic remains a possibility.

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