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April 13, 2016

Lefthand Canyon construction update for April 13, 2016

Hello Lefthand Reconstruction Listserv Subscriber -

Work in the canyon continues at a frenzied pace. This morning, six 30-ton concrete and steel girders were successfully delivered and installed at the bridge site over James Creek. Check out the photos below of what the bridge looks like now. Crews quickly dismantled the giant crane that was used and transported it down the canyon to the other active bridge site just west of Olde Stage Road, where girders will be installed tomorrow and possibly Friday. The work at the James/Lefthand site is important as it means that this bridge will hopefully be safely navigable and put into use prior to the weather that is expected to roll in on Friday. No more ruts, bumps and holes to avoid when driving on the shoefly! There's still work to do on the bridge, but the contractor is confident it will be open to the public by the weekend. At the bottom of this email, I've included a photo of the 160,000 pound crane (which doesn't include counterweights) that was used to set the girders. This monster made it look like the girders were chopsticks and set six of them perfectly in place in just under two hours.

James Creek Bridge

James Creek Bridge looking east

Other good news is that excavation is approximately 80% complete and installation of rip rap is around 70% complete for this phase of work. In addition, during today's construction meeting, the contractor began discussing paving operations that will happen in May.

Unfortunately, not all news can be good. In order to stay on schedule, starting next Monday morning, April 18, the contractor will begin daily construction activity at 6 a.m., which means that's when travel delays can start too. The contractor will allow for a pass through the zone each half-hour and hour on the hour before closing the road at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. The afternoon schedule will remain the same with the road opening at 4 and 4:30 p.m. before fully reopening at 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Thirty minute delays are possible between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Weekend Weather Expected

While we won't know what will actually transpire until it ends, the National Weather Service has basically promised that we'll see moisture in the form of rain and snow from Friday through Monday. The contractor is aware and has promised to do their best to keep the road safe for travel until it dries out. They'll even work on Sunday should travel become difficult. The construction site will unavoidably become a muddy, rutted mess, but crews will work to mitigate issues to the best of their ability. We ask everyone to use caution when driving the road in wet conditions.

As always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions, comments or concerns.

Have a good weekend.



Andrew Barth
Boulder County Transportation

Below- Crane used to install girders. That's a full-size Chevy Suburban in front of it.

the crane used to lift the girders