Utility relocation work starts this week on CR 5500 bridge project across San Juan River

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Utilities relocation work will begin this week on the County Road 5500 bridge project, with work on the bridge replacement slated to start in June.

FARMINGTON — Motorists who drive over the County Road 5500 bridge across the San Juan River are likely to see some changes over the next several days as work to replace the aging structure begins.

San Juan County spokesman Devin Neeley said preconstruction utility relocations will begin this week and likely continue through Memorial Day. The tentative start date for work on the new bridge itself is June 1, he said.

The San Juan County Commission approved a contract on March 30 that will pay Albuquerque-based contractor Kiewit New Mexico Co. nearly $7.4 million to replace the decrepit bridge, which dates to the 1970s. County officials have been trying to replace it since at least 2017, when an engineering report revealed its condition had deteriorated sharply.

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The project has a 330-day construction schedule for substantial completion. The bridge is expected to remain open to motorists throughout most of the construction, but traffic will be limited to a single lane in alternating directions, as it has been since March 2018. A county official has said there could be brief closures of the bridge while contractors move heavy equipment.

The project is being funded by capital outlay money from the state Legislature, New Mexico Department of Transportation funds and San Juan County bond money.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.