FAIRPLAY, Colo. (CBS4) – As the temperatures rise, the increased snow melt in the mountains is causing concern along the South Platte River where the water is threatening a bridge.

On Monday, Colorado Department of Transportation crews were forced to close Highway 285 in Park County for several hours while high water threatened a bridge south of the town of Fairplay. That forced drivers to make the long commute to Interstate 70 to get through the area.

A bridge along Highway 285 over the South Platte River (credit: CBS)

A bridge along Highway 285 over the South Platte River (credit: CBS)

The bridge may have to be closed again as water continues to threaten older bridges along some highways in Colorado.

“I don’t know the exact date of this bridge but it is the early 1900s,” said CDOT Highway Maintenance Supervisor Jacob Allen.

The section of the Middle Fork of the South Plate River has CDOT workers closely watching the bridges that thousands of drivers rely on every day. There are two other bridges CDOT is concerned about. One of them is on Highway 24 and the other is along Highway 9, both in Park County.

“We have three critical scourer bridges, that’s what they call them up here, this one and one on Highway 24 and one on Highway 9,” said Allen.

As the snowpack melts, especially when it melts so quickly, the bridges become a big safety concern.

“It has raised some since we have been here talking to you,” said Allen. “If we can keep traffic off of it at the high times we can have a better chance of keeping it open in the future.”

Until the aging bridges can be replaced, crews will keep watch on the water levels.


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