The Colorado Department of Transportation and TLM Constructors of Swink and Greeley have started removing an 80-year-old bridge on CO 10 at the intersection of the Crooked Arroyo River in La Junta.

The safety-critical project was given top tier priority by CDOT and the Bridge Enterprise Program, which earmarks funding for bridges and structures in need of repair or replacement.

Other work includes widening the shoulders, making roadway and drainage improvements, and implementing permanent erosion control measures. The project supports CDOT’s 40-year statewide multimodal plan to enhance the safety, mobility, and economic vitality of the state.

Crews are currently in the process of removing the bridge’s superstructure. The new bridge and roadway improvements were deemed necessary to meet current Federal Highway Administration bridge structure, load and safety guidelines.

Built in 1939 of prestressed concrete, the bridge is being removed and reconstructed with reinforced concrete and steel to maximize longevity and structural integrity to support increased traffic demands along the CO 10 corridor, now and into the future.

Other improvements to be made during this six-month long project include widening the shoulders, restriping and repaving parts of CO 10, replacing the culverts for improved drainage, and implementing erosion control methods to protect the environment.

The roadway will be closed from mileposts 69 to 70 for the duration of the project. Traffic is being detoured along county roads and onto CO 71, US 50, and US 350. Signage is in place to safely direct motorists through detour zones onto alternate travel routes.

The project is located on CO 10 at MP 69.7 over the Crooked Arroyo River, one mile west of La Junta in Otero County.

Medium travel impacts are anticipated to local traffic and vehicles and trucking operations that use CO 10 for travel to east- and westbound destinations. These include:

• CO 10 is closed from MP 69 to MP 70 for the duration of the project

• Alternate routes include CO 71 westbound (already under detour configuration), US 50, and US 350, adding 6 miles to drive time

• Signs are in place to safely direct traffic

• 10 ft. width restrictions exist along the detour routes

• Hazmat restrictions are in place

• Local traffic is being detoured onto 26th and 27th Street with barricades and signage in place

• Lane closures and other traffic notices are posted weekly on COTrip.org

 The project kicked off June 3 and is expected to last until November. Working hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. weekdays. No holiday or weekend work is expected.

Sign up for direct email announcements and updates at co10bridgeotero@gmail.com. For additional information about the project, call the local project information line at 308-7027 or visit the project website at codot.gov/projects/crooked-arroyo-bridge-replacement.

For information on any lane closures, visit COTrip.org, or call 511.

Remember, slow for the cone zone to help you and workers stay safe:

• Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits

• Stay Alert - Expect the unexpected

• Watch for workers. Drive with caution

• Don't change lanes unnecessarily

• Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones

• Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you

• Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones

• Expect delays, especially during peak travel times

• Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you

• Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so

• Be patient!

To heighten safety awareness, CDOT recently announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative.

This project takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations.

The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.