MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Department of Transportation has selected a bridge in Manitou Springs for a pilot project that ultimately could be applied to other bridges in the state.
From June 17-21, CDOT will place an electronic sensor under the Williams Canyon Bridge on U.S. 24. CDOT is paying $150,000 for the device and its installation by a Denver engineering firm.
The project is the first of its kind in Colorado. It was supposed to start a week earlier, but CDOT rescheduled it due to delays with contracts and permits.
Dave Watt, a CDOT engineer, said the sensor will allow the agency to monitor the bridge from CDOT's Denver office. Watt said the agency will study how the bridge performs under real-time traffic conditions during a two-year period.
Watt said information gathered from the sensor could help CDOT sooner decide when a bridge needs to be repaired or replaced without having to send a crew out.
Colorado has 80 bridges rated as deficient, said Watt, but the agency has rebuilt or replaced 50 bridges in the past few years.
Watt said information from the sensor also could lead to larger or smaller loads on certain bridges.
Only Canada and four states -- Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- have used the technology.
Installation of the device means the bridge's eastbound right lane on U.S. 24 will be closed during the day, and the speed limit will be reduced to 30 mph.