Main Street Bridge Replacement Project to Begin May 3

Mancos Construction of the Mancos Main Street bridge replacement project is slated to begin on Monday, May 3 and is estimated to be completed by end of August.

The Main Street bridge, located in historic downtown Mancos, will be brought to current load and rating standards and will be widened to allow for two lanes and two sidewalks to ensure the safe crossing for pedestrians and motorists alike. Work will also include the installation of conduit for future fiber optics. To address its ability to withstand the next hundred-year flood, the bridge will be ten feet longer and riverbed improvements will be made. The area between the bridge and the Bauer Bank Building will be reinforced, as this structure will need strengthening as well to maintain its integrity. In keeping with Mancos’ western historical roots, the concrete sides will resemble the bricks from the historic bank building across the street and it will incorporate the iconic 1912 stamp which exists on the current bridge.

This $2 million project has been made possible through a $1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation and $193,000 from the Department of Local Affairs. 

Traffic Impacts: 

From May through August, the Main Street bridge will be closed to all motorists and pedestrians. Motor vehicle traffic will need to utilize easterly and westerly detour routes via East and West Grand Avenue, South Spruce Street and East and West Montezuma Street. Pedestrians may access businesses, the library and residences via the foot bridge over the Mancos River at Mesa Street. (Please refer to the attached map.) 

Work hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. If needed, work may take place on Saturdays.

Businesses in the Immediate Area:

The Mancos School art department, in collaboration with the town, is working with businesses to create wayfinding signs to aid in business access.

Patrons of the Bauer Bank Building and the Absolute Bakery will have access from the adjacent sidewalk. The three parking spaces in front of the bakery will be closed but the rest of the parking in downtown Mancos will remain open. 

The Fenceline Cidery can be accessed using the pedestrian bridge near the library or the vehicle detour route as noted on the attached map. 

The Grand Avenue and Main Street corner lot will be available as usual for picnics, except for short periods of time where it will be used for staging purposes, such as preparing the girders for the bridge. Visitors can also use the Ballantine lot (next to the Mancos Common Press) and Boyle park for picnics.

Lana Waters, D&L Construction Representative, stated, “We do not expect a lot of dust, there will be some noise from the jackhammers, machines and the trucks mostly during the demolition stage. No Dynamite will be used in this project.” The Town of Mancos will be managing traffic control.

For more information about this project, contact the Town of Mancos at

Bridge Structure History & Background:

The Town of Mancos has been working on the bridge replacement project since 2015. A study by the town’s engineering firm, SEH, and the Colorado Department of Transportation determined that there is severe deterioration of the 109-year-old bridge and it must be replaced as soon as possible to ensure the continued safety of those who use it.

When the existing bridge was built one hundred years ago, much of the traffic consisted of horse drawn wagons. Currently, it is estimated that 750 vehicles cross it every day. The maximum vehicle weight limit is 42.5 tons. However, much heavier vehicles use it. The bridge has two lanes, yet it is narrow by today’s standards and has no sidewalks. Pedestrian safety is also a concern. Visitors and locals cross it both on foot and on bikes, competing with motor traffic to visit homes, businesses, the library, and the school.

The 1912 bridge was built after the prior wooden structure gave way to a large flood. According to the Mancos Times archives, in October of 1911, a 36-hour torrent of rain led to the largest, most damaging flood in the written history of Mancos and surrounding areas. The overflowing waters caused the Mancos river to change its channel, destroy buildings and property, and take out the Main Street bridge. A year later, the town constructed a reinforced concrete bridge to replace the wooden structure damaged by the flood. Today, this 1912 bridge is still the primary connection between the north and south sides of town, bearing the weight of hundreds of cars and heavy, modern trucks which traverse it daily.

PDF download: MAP_DETOUR_Mancos Bridge Replacement_04.16.2021