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Sewer main replacement near Dowd Junction has multiple community benefits

September 01, 2020

New utility bridge will increase safety for cyclists, pedestrians, and river users.  

Phase 1 of the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District wastewater collection system improvement project is underway near the intersection of Highway 24 and County Road in Minturn. The district will replace a sewer main that crosses the Eagle River downstream of the County Road vehicle bridge.  

Project area on Highway 24 and County Road in Minturn.

The existing aerial crossing is more than 50 years old, is reaching the end of its useful life, and can be a hazard to river users during high water conditions. The pipeline is part of a network that collects all wastewater from the town of Minturn and its capacity will increase to accommodate future growth projections within the town.  

The new sewer main must also cross the Eagle River and will be installed just downstream of the existing main, beneath a to-be-constructed bridge. The new river crossing location improves river safety as the new pipe will be higher above the river.  

This work is the first phase of a multi-year wastewater infrastructure improvement project in the Dowd Junction area that will span from the County Road bridge to the Gore Valley Trail bridge. The new main will increase the reliability of the district’s sewage collection system and its larger diameter will add capacity to serve future growth.  

Architectural rendering of the new 12-foot wide pedestrian and bicycling bridge to be installed downstream of the current County Road vehicle bridge.

The project also includes the creation of a new pedestrian and bicycling bridge for the community. A cost analysis by the district showed that installing a 12-foot wide pedestrian/bicycling bridge would cost $100,000 more than the needed 6-foot wide utility bridge. The town of Minturn and ECO Trails agreed to split the added cost to achieve a strategic goal of extending the regional trail system in the area, which currently ends at the County Road vehicle bridge. The district, town, and ECO Trails are partnering on this project to limit land and river disturbance, reduce impacts to the public, improve cycling and pedestrian safety, and best leverage public funds.  

Phase 1 work should have minimal daily impacts to traffic patterns. Crews will be clearing vegetation where the new bridge will be installed. On days when heavy equipment is being moved, portions of the pedestrian trail at Highway 24 and County Road will be safely rerouted and County Road will have traffic controllers guiding intermittent closures. Additionally, the shoulder in the construction area along Highway 24 will be closed. The project engineer is HDR Engineering and the contractor is Gould Construction; Phase 1 should be complete in spring 2021.  

For more information, contact district customer service at 970-477-5451.