A bridge near the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in downtown Durango will undergo repairs this week, which is expected to cause significant traffic delays at one of the busiest intersections in Southwest Colorado.
The work is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Sunday and continue through Oct. 21, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Traffic delays are expected every day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., said CDOT spokeswoman Adair Christensen.
“It’s going to cause congestion at that intersection in all directions,” Christensen said. “People should plan ahead for lengthy delays – up to 30-minute delays – and it could be more.”
The work will replace an expansion joint that runs the width of the east side of the bridge. The expansion joint allows the bridge to expand and contract as necessary during temperature fluctuations to maintain a seamless surface between the road and the bridge.
The same joint was repaired last summer. But for some reason, the repairs didn’t hold up as CDOT expected, Christensen said.
“They’re going back in to reinforce it and replace it with some steel cages that go in the expansion joint area,” she said.
Repairs are being made only to the east side.
“This is considered a short-span bridge, so an expansion joint is not required for both ends,” Christensen said.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction, even at night, she said.
Road crews might need to stop traffic in some instances, she said, but for the most part the delays will be a result of bottleneck traffic.
“The traffic is going to be reduced from two lanes to one lane, and we’re expecting it to back up like it did in previous years,” Christensen said.
Drivers are encouraged to find alternative routes, if possible.
“It is an extremely busy intersection,” she said. “It is one of the higher traffic volumes (intersections) in Southwest Colorado and the Western Slope. … We don’t want anyone to be late to get to where they need to be going.”