Known as a very challenging crossing when Leon Creek is running high, fording ATVers often found their machines floating away downstream. Not so, since the Western Slope ATV Association (WSATVA) and their partners installed a new Big R recreational trail bridge.
With funds provided by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Off-Highway Vehicle Registration Program, the WSATVA purchased the bridge and worked with other partners to provide the sweat-and-equipment equity to make the creek crossing a success.
Components transported nine miles into site
With equipment from private companies, the Bureau of Reclamation, the US Forest Service and Mesa County, the two 30′ sections and concrete abutments were transported about 9 miles into the remote worksite where club volunteers assembled the two sections to create the 60′ span.
Lots of donated equipment
The operation involved the full spectrum of heavy equipment including track hoes, skid-steers, front end loaders, a mini-excavator, trail dozers, roller compactors and lots and lots of person-power!
Strictly on the level
Club members used their amateur engineering skills, working with laser levels, transits and tried-and-true manual tape measurements, to help align and install the abutments.
Hip, hip, hooray! It actually fit!
As the machines lifted the bridge in place and the steel span settled in with a near perfect level fit, a loud chorus of cheers erupted. The Leon Creek Bridge is now open to hikers, bicyclists and all modes of transportation that are 60 inches or less in width. This new bridge will ensure the safe passage of the recreating public for many years to come.