Work to resume early next spring
Travelers through Dowd Junction have probably noticed the new pier and abutment walls erected on the banks of the Eagle River just upstream of the Gore Valley Trail bridge. The pier is hard to miss, extending approximately 26.5 feet above ground and an additional 42.5 feet below ground. These structures are part of an Eagle River Water & Sanitation District project that began in April to replace an aging sewer main that crosses the Eagle River in that area.
Material delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed procurement of a bridge and sewer pipe that the pier and walls will support. Materials are expected to be delivered by early spring, pending any future impacts, at which time work will resume to complete the bridge installation and final utility tie-ins.
The new sewer main will provide multiple benefits over the existing aerial crossing, which is more than 50 years old and has reached the end of its useful life. The new utility bridge will allow for regular maintenance of the main, improve worker safety, and will hold a new larger main that increases system reliability and capacity. Once the new bridge is in place and the sewer main is operational, crews will remove the current aerial pipeline and its two concrete support piers from the Eagle River, which will help restore the river channel.
The west entrance of the Gore Valley Trail bridge has been used for construction access from U.S. Highway 6 since April. A temporary asphalt recreation trail was built adjacent to the impacted portion of the existing trail, with a chain link fence between the two, to serve as a detour for trail users. This section of the Gore Valley Trail closed to the public for the winter on Nov. 8. The detour will remain in place when the trail reopens in spring 2022.
The construction site has been demobilized for the winter, though travelers can expect intermittent one-way traffic through the construction zone while paving and striping of Highway 6 wraps up.
This work is the second phase of a multi-year wastewater infrastructure improvement project in the Dowd Junction area that spans from the County Road bridge to the Gore Valley Trail bridge. Phase I work was completed last spring near the intersection of Highway 24 and County Road in Minturn. Both projects are replacing critical sewer mains in challenging locations that are part of the wastewater collection system which conveys sewage to the district’s wastewater treatment facility in Avon.
The Phase II project should be complete in fall 2022 and is funded by wastewater service rates and property assessments. The project engineer is HDR Engineering, and the contractor is Mueller Construction Services.
For more information, contact customer service at 970-477-5451.