Fruita Bridge

Year Listed: 2002
County: Mesa County
Construction Date: 1907
Threat When Listed: Natural Elements, Vandalism
Status: IN PROGRESS
 
 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge was completed in 1907, and is one of the few remaining spans associated with noted bridge engineer M.J. Patterson. This steel and wood, three-span bridge served for years as a regionally important early roadway used to cross the Colorado River.

The City of Fruita completed an assessment as a first step toward building local support to stabilize and rehabilitate the bridge for bike/pedestrian use along a river trail that would stretch from Fruita to Grand Junction. The National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program began a river trail planning project in 2005 that will incorporate the bridge. Due to erosion of an island in the river, waterflow seriously damaged one of the bridge’s piers. Experts fear a high spring runoff may cause the bridge to collapse. Colorado Preservation, Inc. and others are working to put together a plan and funding to provide emergency stabilization.

In 2007, the City of Fruita applied for and was awarded a $200,000 grant from the State Historical Fund to stabilize the bridge piers.  Along with an additional $250,000 from the City of Fruita, Mesa County, and local fundraising efforts, caissons were built to stabilize the bridge piers and this work was completed in early 2010.  A Parks, Open Space, and Trails Master Plan adopted by the City of Fruita in 2009 shows that the bridge still is intended to be an important link in a regional trail system linking Fruita to Grand Junction, the Colorado National Monument, and other trails on public lands.  Although no progress has been made to create trail linkages to the bridge at this time, the bridge is safe from imminent danger of loss due to neglect or lack of awareness by the community.

Additional Links:
City of Fruita, CO

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Preservation for a Changing Colorado

The 2017 update, Preservation for a Changing Colorado, resulted from a partnership between Colorado Preservation and History Colorado and Colorado Preservation, Inc. Prepared by Clarion Associates, the new report and accompanying website document the economic benefits of rehabilitation projects, analyzes property values and neighborhood stability in local historic districts, and summarizes the increasing impact of heritage tourism, private preservation development and the success of Colorado’s Main Street program. In a key finding, researchers found that for every $1 million spent on historic preservation in Colorado leads to $1.03 million in additional spending, 14 new jobs, and $636,700 in increased household incomes across the state! The 2017 report also considers the important role preservation plays in helping Coloradans provide new spaces for creative communities and co-working, create and sustain meaningful places, respond to the state’s changing demographics, and address climate concerns. Click Here to see the full report, "Preservation for a Changing Colorado".

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