Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Bridge may be open by summer


February 12, 2020

Ron Warnick

Work progresses Saturday on the new U.S. 54 bridge over the Canadian River gorge at Logan. An assistant engineer at the New Mexico Department of Transportation said he anticipated the span would be finished in June.

LOGAN - Construction of a new U.S. 54 bridge over the Canadian River at Logan that began in late 2018 probably will be finished and opened to traffic by early summer.

Chris Urioste, assistant engineer at the New Mexico Department of Transportation's District 4 office in Las Vegas, said in a telephone interview Wednesday that construction was 79% complete.

With a 500-day window to build the span, that would place its finish date in June, he said. The project's official start date was Nov. 3, 2018.

Save for occasional partial work suspensions because of bad weather, Urioste said work has gone fairly smoothly.

"There haven't been many surprises, nothing out of the ordinary," he said.

The 700-foot-long bridge originally was forecast to cost about $20.3 million. Urioste said the price now is slated at $22.43 million.

He attributed the cost increase to change orders, and a 10% change in cost "is not outside the norm."

NMDOT originally announced the bridge project in December 2013. Construction was slated for 2017 and 2018, but Urioste said initial bids came in too high for the job, forcing the agency to announce a rebid.

Urioste said a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new bridge likely would be scheduled after its completion.

Fisher Sand & Gravel of Placitas is the general contractor for the new Canadian River Bridge.

The new bridge over the Canadian River gorge is situated east of the current bridge, built in 1954. The current span was rehabilitated in 1984. Its overall condition was rated as "poor" during its last inspection in September 2017.

According to NMDOT data from 2017, U.S. 54 averages between 3,000 and 8,000 vehicles a day from Tucumcari to Nara Visa.


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