70-foot bridge only takes hours to assemble, will replace span near Estes Park destroyed by flooding

ESTES PARK, Colo. - A 70-foot bridge is being built and installed in less than two days near Estes Park.

It will replace the bridge off of Highway 66 near Glacier Lodge that was destroyed in the September floods.

Just like a super-sized Erector set, ready-to-assemble pieces were put together and the bridge slowly pushed into place in just a matter of hours.

On Thursday, the work was being done by three workers, by Thursday night the work continued under the glow of headlights with just two workers.

"I'd like to have five," said bridge contractor Mike Murray.

Mabey Bridge prepares the ready-to-assemble pieces so that they can be connected in little time. The work on Thursday finished with the bridge nearly touching Highway 66.

"You got to make sure you don't shove it past the rollers, otherwise it'll go in the drink," said Murray.

As the bridge gets pushed toward the highway, it needs to be counter-balanced so that it doesn't fall over.

"It's kind of like a teeter-totter when you were a kid," said Murray. "You don't want to let that other person off, otherwise they'll fall and that's what'll happen to (the bridge)."

By Friday, the bridge should be in place and the bridge deck itself will be installed.

Even though the structure is temporary, Murray said the bridge can handle highway loads and remain as a permanent replacement.

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