The Colorado Dept. of Transportation completed a complex bridge replacement on July 21 after crews rolled the new 2,400-ton Pecos Street Bridge over I-70 into place over one weekend. The highly coordinated bridge move allowed CCDOT to reopen I-70 through central Denver 4.5 hours ahead of schedule.

The 4.8-million-lb bridge started moving onto I-70 at noon on Saturday, the 20th, and was placed in its final configuration around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. The project also added a new pedestrian bridge over the freeway on the west side of Pecos Street.
“Our decision to completely close I-70 for one full weekend reduced what could have been an additional eight months of lane closures,” said CDOT Project Engineer Tamara Hunter-Maurer.

“By constructing the bridge on the side of the highway over the past several months and rolling the bridge into place over a weekend, we were able to substantially minimize the overall impact to the traveling public and greatly reduce the duration of the entire project.”

The contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure, had more than 100 crewmembers working around the clock from July 19 through July 21 to ensure the bridge was set safely and that I-70 opened on time for the Monday morning rush hour. 

The I-70/Pecos Street project replaced the original bridge, constructed in 1965 and in poor condition. It also replaced the existing signalized intersections on Pecos Street with two roundabouts. CDOT says the project will improve the highway infrastructure, creating a safer trip for motorists. In addition, congestion will be reduced, creating a more efficient transportation system that better supports economic and job growth in the area.

The $18.6-million project is funded by the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, which uses a small portion of vehicle registration fees to repair or replace poor bridges. The project is scheduled to be complete in September.