A fairly large crowd of spellbound spectators gathered along 6th Street Tuesday afternoon to watch as a crew from Hart Construction used a large crane to set the town’s newest pedestrian bridge across the San Juan River.
The bridge came in two pieces, and workers spent most of the morning and afternoon connecting the two halves and doing prep work as the crowd of onlookers gathered, despite the chilly breeze. The workers finally moved the bridge into place and secured it to its moorings on either side of the river shortly after 3 p.m.
In September, Hart Construction closed 6th Street to through traffic and began construction of the ramp structure on the north side of the river. The road was originally scheduled to remain closed until Oct. 8, but because of a few rainy days and one day spent repairing a sewer pipe that was inadvertently damaged, it wasn’t until Oct. 20 that the workers finally opened the road and moved over to the south side of the river.
On the south side, crews dug down 12 feet below grade and 2 feet into the solid shale bedrock before installing the rebar for the bridge footing. As a consequence, the hole was lower than the San Juan, and soon filled up with seeping river water, forcing the crew to use a constantly running pump to keep the work area clear.
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