Fraser approves $1M bid for County Road 8 bridge replacement
County Road 8 to be closed for duration of work
With construction cones already out in Fraser along Highway 40, the town’s Board of Trustees is preparing for yet another roadwork project later this summer.
At the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday night, the trustees approved a $1 million proposal from Steamboat Springs company Duckels Construction, Inc. to replace the bridge over the Fraser River on County Road 8, a project that is estimated to take around four months.
“The bridge is old and it’s been failing,” said Jeff Durbin, Fraser town manager. “We don’t want to rehab it, we need to replace it. We’ve done some rehab work in recent years, but it’s like putting a bandaid on a bleedout.”
The bridge, which has received a poor inspection rating from the state for at least the last 10 years, will be replaced as part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s off-highway bridge replacement program.
While the replacement is desperately needed, it will require the closure of County Road 8 for the duration of the project, which could be around four months. During the road closure, the town will have to provide alternative routes for drivers, emergency responders and transit.
“This is full on taking out the bridge,” Durbin said. “We looked at doing half and half, but it would’ve added something like 50 percent to the project (cost) and a couple more months, so we’ve just got to rip the bandaid off and get this done.”
Durbin said the town’s next steps will be to find a company who will conduct a traffic management study to determine how many drivers utilize the road and will have to be diverted, as well as what other routes emergency responders and transit can take.
To try and lessen the impacts of the project, Durbin said construction on County Road 8 isn’t scheduled to begin Aug. 1, after the Public Safety Improvement Project on Highway 40 is completed.
However, the road closure will impact Fraser’s Meadow Ridge and Winter Park Ranch neighborhoods, as well as the Lift lines that run through them. Another way the town is trying to alleviate the burden of this project, is by considering an early completion bonus for the contractor.
The town had originally budgeted the project at $1.2 million, but received bids under that, allowing them to approve a roughly $900,000 construction budget with room for over $150,00 in contingency funds.
“These detours will have impacts to people, so I think the idea of an early completion bonus is a really good one,” Durbin said. “Since the bids came in lower than expected, if we can use some of those dollars that we had initially budgeted to get this project done sooner that might be a really good thing.”
Since the project is in conjunction with CDOT, the state will foot most of the bill and the local contribution will only be around $200,000, which will be a shared cost between Fraser and the county.
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