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County bridges pass muster

by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG- Huerfano County’s bridges all passed inspection with ratings higher then the state average according to Stantec, an engineering firm that inspects bridges and culverts for the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The Huerfano County Board of County Commissioners received the report from Ryan Nataluki. He told the commissioners that only one bridge in the county pulled a number four rating. “That means that the deck is rusting or leaking,” Nataluki said. Ratings are zero the worst to 10 for bridges in perfect condition.
The bridge is on county road 450 and crossed Middle Creek. However the traffic flow using the bridge averaged out to about 8 vehicles a day. Other areas the county needs to watch out are the guard rails on some of the bridges.
“However the standards that Stantec has to use is the same standards that CDOT applies to interstate with the higher speeds and heavier traffic,” Nataluki said. Most bridges in Huerfano don’t see the heavy traffic or higher speeds of interstate except the bridges on Highway 160.
Huerfano County has 21 county owned and maintained bridges and there are three bridges located in the county that are owned by the railroad.
All the ratings for the bridges come from inspection of the bridge decks, the structures and the super structures. When averaged out Huerfano County earned a 91.7 rating as compared against the state average of 81. There are about 6,000 bridges in the state.
“We appreciate the hard work and effort that our Road and Bridge Department have been doing to keep the bridges in the county safe,” County Commission Chair Scott King said.
Property purchased from the Lucking Trust and the Hearn Trust will be part of the project to straighten out the Badito switchback on Highway 160. Title will be cleared later this month. The county spent around $2,200 purchasing the 4.41 acres.
The La Plaza de Los Leones Fiesta is scheduled for Sept. 9, 10, and 11, at Fiesta Park.