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West Cat Creek bridge complete, east entrance closes Monday

Staff Writer

The county’s newest bridge is complete. Maybe.

The West Cat Creek bridge, located west of Pagosa Springs, is now complete, save for an unsatisfactory concrete finish, meaning the county and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) now plan to close the East Cat Creek entrance next Monday, Dec. 17.

Construction on the project began last summer, paid for with CDOT bridge-specific funding and a 20-percent match by Archuleta County, totaling over $983,000 in funding for design and construction.

But, with construction complete, both Archuleta County and, according to e-mails between CDOT and the county, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are unhappy with the quality of work on the bridge deck.

“The county is not happy with the finish of the deck,” said Ken Feyen, Archuleta County public works director, explaining that the concrete finish does not include the correct grooves to expeditiously drain water from the deck.

Because of that, Feyen said the county and CDOT are exploring options with the contractor to either have a topcoat of either concrete or asphalt applied to the deck, or for a credit to be issued, lessening the cost of the project.

“Structurally, it’s one-hundred percent adequate,” Feyen said, adding there is, “no real sense of urgency,” in fixing the bridge’s finish.

Though no decision has been made yet, should a topcoat option be chosen, Feyen said that additional work would not be done until next spring.

Despite the unsatisfactory work, Feyen said the county is still on schedule to close the East Cat Creek Road entrance on Monday.

The barricades that will be installed by the county, however, can be easily removed should additional bridge work be done next spring, creating need for a detour.

Motorists traveling on U.S. 160 in the area of the closed entrance can expect some changes to indicate the closed entrance, according to a CDOT e-mail obtained by The SUN.

According to the e-mail, signs indicating the intersection will be removed, and the gap in lane striping will be closed.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on December 13, 2012.