MINTURN, Colo. (CBS4 ) – Eleven Air Force Academy cadets are hard at work with U.S. Forest Service personnel on building a bridge in the White River National Forest. The bridge is being installed now on the east end of the Two Elk Trail in Eagle County.

(credit: USFS)

The cadets, who are Civil Engineering majors, designed the bridge. They’re able to earn academic credit through a class offered at the Academy.

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The trail will be closed from the Vail Pass bike path to the Two Elk Pass until July 29.

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“Due to the priceless cooperation and support of the White River National Forest staff, this unique program allows our future Air Force engineers and leaders to take a full-scale civil engineering project from cradle to grave, while providing the public with a valuable infrastructure asset that will serve for decades into the future,” said Stan Rader, professor of the class.

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(credit: USFS)

In previous years, cadets designed and installed bridges on Maroon Creek Trail and McCullough Gulch Trail. However, White River National Forest officials say the bridge at Two Elks Trail will 40% longer than those.

Danielle Chavira