Grand Lake puts Portal Bridge project on winter hiatus
GRAND LAKE — Grand Lake’s long sought West Portal Bridge Project was halted in recent weeks as the icy grip of winter made continued construction untenable.
Physical construction on the project, which includes repair and rehabilitation work on the bridge’s girders as well as the reconstruction and relaying of the bridge deck, began in September 2018. Work continued throughout the fall and until the third week of December, shortly before Christmas, when inclement weather forced workers to shutter their efforts until the spring.
“The original plan was to remove the deck, pour a new deck and keep it blanketed to cure over the winter,” explained Grand Lake Town Manager Jim White. “But the cold and snow just kept coming. They (workers) had to clear snow every day to begin their work. It became more and more of an obstacle. We talked about it at weekly meetings. We said lets call it off for the winter and start up as soon as the weather allows.”
According to White work on the project will resume sometime in the spring with plans to wrap up the project before June 30.
For several years now officials from the town of Grand Lake have been working to initiate the rehabilitation and upgrade project on the bridge that spans the North Inlet on Portal Road. The project got off the ground in 2010 after a review of the structural integrity of the bridge indicated that repair and maintenance work was needed.
“It was definitely time to fix it,” White said. “The engineers who are involved in overseeing the project told us it was defiantly time to get this done.”
Grand Lake received initial funding for the project in 2010 but the bridge upgrade languished for several years as the town sought additional funding for the roughly $1.9 million project. In 2015 town officials began earnest efforts to secure additional funding, which the town received from the state in the form of two funding allotments in 2017 and 2018 totaling $464,000 and $424,000. Grand Lake was also able to secure roughly $700,000 in funding for the project from CDOT and other government highway repair funding sources. Overall the town of Grand Lake is chipping in around $300,000 to help cover the project.
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