After a seven-month closure, CDOT reopened Kechter Road to the public. The bridge has always been a popular avenue for cyclists to exit Fort Collins to the East as opposed to Harmony Road or CO 392. The area now boasts a smooth surface, bike lanes, sidewalks, fencing over I25 and a roundabout at the frontage road.  I did find it odd that Larimer County didn’t take advantage of CDOT’s closure to add relatively short bike lanes to connect the bridge to existing bike lanes to the East and West on Kechter Road. It also seemed like it would have been an ideal time to improve the deteriorating road surface. YGR reached out to Larimer County for comment and asked to have the ‘Bikes May Use Full Lane’ signs reinstalled but I have yet to hear back.

Steven Studt was fatally injured on the east side of the Kechter bridge on June 26th, 2015 when Jose Pinon hit him with his dump truck. Steven would die from his injuries at the Medical Center of the Rockies on July 5th. Pinon received 90 days in jail and 600 hours of community service for his crime.

CDOT Announcment

Northeastern Colorado — Wednesday’s reopening of the Kechter Road bridge over Interstate 25 should draw a sigh of relief from drivers who use Harmony Road and Colorado Highway 392 to cross over I-25. The bridge, closed for the past seven months for reconstruction, will not only alleviate congestion on these other two interstate crossings, but it is more resilient to flooding, provides multimodal options and offers an alternate northbound and southbound route parallel to I-25 and another route to get to CO 392 rather than I-25.

This bridge reconstruction project is part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s North I-25 Express Lanes project from Berthoud to Fort Collins.

The new bridge is a little higher than the old structure, enabling crews to raise the elevation of I-25 and add two new bridges south of Kechter Road spanning the floodplain to allow the next 100-year flood event to pass without affecting I-25. The bridge also features sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and bike lanes in both directions, and a roundabout constructed connects the West Frontage Road to Kechter Road just west of I-25, providing a safer intersection for all users than what existed previously.

Additional work done in the last seven months included building large retaining walls on both sides of I-25 to contain the new widened footprint of I-25. The new structure was also lengthened to 226 feet to accommodate the additional toll lane in each direction of I-25. Making all these improvements took a fair amount of effort and materials including:

  • 16,475 cubic yards of material was used for the roadway embankment, enough to fill five Olympic sized swimming pools
  • 18 box girders – each 112 feet long – were set for the bridge
  • 2,500 tons of asphalt was put down
  • 27,697 square feet of retaining walls were built
  • 736 cubic yards of concrete was used for the bridge construction
  • 158,069 pounds of reinforced steel was used, or the weight of approximately forty Ford F-150s
  • 756 linear feet of pile was driven for the bridge foundations

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