Slate River Bridge work starting soon
By Cayla Vidmar
The Slate River Bridge on Gothic Road north of Crested Butte will undergo work this spring to see if rehabilitation of the structure—instead of a total replacement—is possible, an improvement that has been on the Gunnison County capital improvement plan for a number of years.
The bridge was deemed “functionally obsolete” by state evaluations, since the county widened the road and not the bridge. It was recently also deemed to be “structurally deficient,” although in previous reports, deputy county manager Marlene Crosby stressed that this does not mean the bridge is unsafe.
Gunnison County is working to figure out if the bridge can be rehabilitated or if it will need to be replaced. The geo-technical testing required to make this determination could take place as soon as this week and force a one-lane closure on Gothic Road at the bridge for a number of days. The exact amount of time the work will take is unknown, according to Crosby but the hope is it will take place soon.
“We’re trying to get it done in April, during the slowest month,” Crosby told the Gunnison Board of County Commissioners last week. Crosby writes via email that she does not yet have a firm commitment, but she believes the work will commence the week of April 15, during the Crested Butte Community School spring break.
The actual construction or rehabilitation of the bridge will likely not occur until 2021 at the earliest.