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CDOT hopes to to restore limited access to the U.S. 50 bridge by the Fourth of July

US 50 Bridge
Posted at 7:41 AM, May 22, 2024

GUNNISON COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation is hoping to restore limited access to the U.S. 50 bridge over Blue Mesa Reservoir by the Fourth of July, the agency announced during a meeting Tuesday.

It closed last month after a crack was found in one of the support beams for the bridge. The first phase of repairs will reduce the safety risk, CDOT said, so emergency vehicles and lighter loads can start using the bridge again until permanent repairs can be completed.

The partial reopening by July 4 is contingent on weather, among other factors, CDOT said.

Then, crews will do further work to strengthen the bridge's structural integrity, so heavier loads can drive across the bridge before winter.

"Phase 2 requires more time to complete and can be performed safely in between in-service traffic openings on the bridge," CDOT said.

The agency will host a town hall meeting Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Montrose County Event Center to provide an update on †he bridge repairs.

The closure has meant hours-long detours for drivers to get across the reservoir.

During Tuesday's public meeting, CDOT said the County Road 26 bypass would be open seven times every day in both directions to let drivers cross. The exceptions will be when it closed midday for CDOT crews to make repairs and on Wednesdays.

"Vehicles traveling through Colorado should utilize the alternate state highway detours to the north and south (Interstate 70 and US Highway 160) instead of County Road 26 if possible," CDOT said.

The agency hopes to fully reopen the bridge by late this fall.

Crews hope to reopen one lane of U.S. 50 Bridge by the Fourth of July

*Carl Winer with our sister station KOAA in Colorado Springs contributed to this report.