Friday, March 18, 2011

Building bridges

Posted By on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Three of 63 of the state's worst bridges are in El Paso County and will be the beneficiary of the Colorado Bridge Enterprise's issuance of $300 million in "Build America Bonds" in December.

The three bridges in this area include one on U.S. 24 over Black Squirrel Creek west of Peyton, which will cost $4.7 million with construction beginning in the fall, and two on Interstate 25 south of Fountain, with a total cost of $2.8 million. Work on those two projects will begin this summer.

Lets do something before this happens in Colorado.
  • Let's do something before this happens in Colorado.

In a news release today, the enterprise, chaired by our own Les Gruen, president of Urban Strategies, said the 63 bridges are located in 25 counties; some bridges will be completely replaced.

Check out the entire list here.

From the release:

The estimated total cost to complete design and construction of all 63 structures is approximately $600 million dollars. Additional funds to complete the reconstruction of these 63 bridges plus additional bridges in poor condition will be generated through future bond issuances when market conditions are favorable and the funds are needed for construction. The bonds are being paid back through a bridge surcharge that is collected through the state vehicle registration fee process. The surcharge ranges from $13 (motorcycles) to $32 (vehicles weighing more than 16,000 pounds).

This is the road and bridge fee people have been belly aching about for the last year after the legislature in 2009 passed Senate Bill 09-108. The Bridge Enterprise is a government-owned business entity within the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The purpose of Bridge Enterprise is to complete designated bridge projects that involve the financing, repair, reconstruction and replacement of bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT.

More from the release:

At the time the Bridge Enterprise was formed, there were 128 bridges statewide designated as “poor”. Of those, 46 have either been repaired or replaced or are currently under construction, 48 are designed or will be designed and 34 have not yet been programmed. The entire CBE program includes the bond program noted above as well as other sources of state and federal funding. The list of “poor” bridges is dynamic and always changing. As bridges are replaced, other aging bridges continue to deteriorate and can be rated as “poor” following inspection and then eligible for funding. The status of these bridge projects is as of March 17, 2011.

Gruen: The bridge-builder
  • Gruen: The bridge-builder

"It is gratifying to see how much has been accomplished by the Colorado Bridge Enterprise in such a timely manner,” said Les Gruen, chairman of the Colorado Bridge Enterprise Board of Directors. "My colleagues on the board join me in thanking all those that have made this rapid progress possible and we all look forward to continued successes. Addressing these poor bridges quickly is the right thing to do for Colorado.”

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