Intermittent Dolores River Closures at Bedrock Bridge Begin May 9!

posted May 3, 2017
by Evan Stafford

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Paddlers planning on paddling the Dolores below Bedrock (Bedrock to Gateway stretch) between May 9 - May 19 need to be aware of intermittent river closures at the new Bedrock Bridge at Colorado Highway (CO) 90. CDOT and SEMA Construction will begin lifting large precast members for the bridge beginning Tuesday, May 9. River users will encounter intermittent half hour river closures at this location just north (downstream) of the Bedrock boat ramp, while large pieces of concrete are suspended over the river and positioned into place.
 
 
“This has been a very unique project!” said Andrea Meduna Bridge Project Engineer. “This past winter, when we started dismantling the old historic structure and then constructing the new bridge, we began to recognize that unusually significant snowfall in the high country would result in very favorable rafting conditions for our river friends. We truly appreciate the cooperation of the boating community as we continue our efforts to construct this new road bridge yet provide safe access to the river.” 
 
MAY ACTIVITY:
• Monday, May 8: The buoys will be placed in the water. 
• Tuesday, May 9 ― Friday, May 12: Periodic half hour river closures are anticipated. 
• Saturday & Sunday, May 13-14: There will be NO CLOSURES over the weekend. Please note buoys will remain in the river during the “open” condition. 
• Monday, May 15 ― Friday, May 19: Dependent upon construction progress, intermittent closures may have to continue into the week.
 
RIVER USER IMPACTS & RIVER CLOSURE PROCESS:
• A flagger will be stationed at the Bedrock boat ramp to answer questions, give direction and inform boaters of the possible closure ahead. 
• A large pre-warning yellow buoy (affectionately named “The Minion”) is in place on the river approximately 1,000 feet before the Bedrock boat ramp warning boaters of potential half hour closures.
• While waiting for the river to re-open, boaters can “park” or anchor boats, rafts, or kayaks to two white buoys (with blue stripes) using ropes attached to the buoys. These two buoys are located near the boat ramp. Or if possible, for smaller crafts, wait out the closure by catching an eddy.
• Be aware of a rope line of 7 orange buoys across the river indicating a closure, if the white buoys are missed, please grasp the orange buoy rope.
• Once crane operations are concluded and passage under the bridge construction is safe, the flagger will re-open the river (remove the orange buoy rope from across the river) and allow boaters to pass through the bridge construction zone safely.
 
Enjoy boating the the Dolores River this May!