The 29 Road Bridge vaults upward across the Colorado River in Orchard Mesa so steeply that the North-Facing structure can easily ice in cold weather. One of four bridges in the state to use it, today Mesa County engineers test a de-icing system that should keep the bridge open to traffic on even the coldest days.
The system uses 42 spray heads sunk into the roadway connected to sensors both in the bridge and a nearby weather station. When conditions indicate the need, the system automatically sprays fluid on the deck to keep water from freezing on the surface.
The fluid is similar to de-icer used on airplanes in the winter, and is non-toxic to humans and animals living ion the river.