DELTA COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation is making the historic Gunnison River Bridge on CO 92 available for adoption to any public or private entity interested in relocating it.
Located about six miles east of Delta, the 83-year-old structure is the longest of three remaining Camelback pony truss bridges on the state highway system. Each span is 125 feet long and 33 feet wide (photos below). Two of its three trusses are available and could be good candidates for reuse as part of a recreational trail or road for motor vehicles. However, a new deck and abutments are required at a new location.
The recipient is responsible for relocating and reassembling the bridge. Due to its age, the paint contains lead and other possible constituents requiring careful removal and containment, which may require additional cost. Interested adopters must submit a relocation plan detailing its proposed use, location, and the available resources to assure future maintenance. Potential recipients also should state their intention to follow all environmental regulations concerning the treatment of lead-based paint on the structural steel components.
The structure currently is eligible for placement on the National Register of Historic Bridges. “Our infrastructure is a tremendous part of our history and the state’s cultural landscape. But, it also has to work, which means ensuring that our bridges remain safe and functional at current standards,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “CDOT is working hard to develop innovative approaches to help preserve historic structures that have outlived their useful life. This partnership is an example of that creativity at work to integrate past and present.”
Although CDOT would like the reassembled trusses to look and function as originally designed, other uses for the trusses will be considered, according to CDOT Senior Staff Historian Lisa Schoch.
The current bridge is rated as structurally and functionally obsolete and will be replaced beginning in November 2021. Please visit www.codot.gov/projects/co92-gunnisonriverbridge for more information about the project.