County creating designs for replacing bridge over San Juan River

Bond money reallocated from Pinon Hills Boulevard extension project

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
San Juan County will use bond money originally targeted for the Pinon Hills Boulevard expansion to replace this aging County Road 5500 bridge over the San Juan River.
  • The project is projected to cost $4.5 million.
  • The existing bridge dates from the 1970s and was built by residents.
  • Construction is not expected to start for another year.

FARMINGTON – San Juan County will use bond money originally intended for the Piñon Hills Boulevard extension project to replace a bridge in the Lee Acres area. 

The bridge on County Road 5500 crosses the San Juan River and was built by residents in the 1970s. Replacing it likely will cost $4.5 million. 

County Executive Officer Kim Carpenter said construction probably will not start for another year. He said the county is currently in the design phase for the bridge replacement.

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An engineering report received earlier this year indicated that the bridge's structural condition had deteriorated over the past few years. The county reduced the load rating at the beginning of July and asked commercial traffic to avoid it.  

The San Juan County Commission initially was reluctant to take money from the Piñon Hills Boulevard project and use it for the bridge. The county is partnering with Farmington on that project, which will connect east Farmington and Crouch Mesa. 

During its July 11 meeting, the County Commission decided to wait until after a public meeting about the bridge had been held on July 13 to make a decision about a proposal to reallocate the bond money. A large crowd of concerned residents turned up at that meeting, and the commission voted at its July 25 meeting to reallocate the money.

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Carpenter said the county is still committed to building the Piñon Hills Boulevard extension project. He told The Daily Times in July that the county's portion of the project will be built in smaller phases due to the reallocation of the funds.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.