Bridge in Drake Colorado Dedicated to Long-Time CDOH Worker
A bridge off of US 34 in Drake, Colorado that hovers above the Big Thompson River was dedicated to Richard "Dick" Jensen, who worked with the then Colorado Department of Highways for nearly 32 years, which is now CDOT. Jensen passed away on January 28, 2018, exactly 32 years from the day he retired from CDOH. His family came together on what would have been his 88th birthday to dedicate a bridge that he built.
Jensen began working for CDOH in maintenance on April 1, 1954 in Fort Morgan. Later on, Jensen became a supervisor for the bridge crew where he built and repaired many bridges in northern Colorado.
Stacia Sellers, CDOT Denver metro area communications manager and Jensen's granddaughte said, "My grandfather liked to tease that he knew better than his engineers and pushed to build a bridge that would connect a maintenance shed to US 34, which would help improve operations. He was finally able to follow through on his vision and built that bridge with his crews in 1974. This became the bridge he was most proud of, especially because it has survived two major floods in the Big Thompson Canyon." Jensen received letters of thanks and commendation from Governors John Love, for work on the 1965 Flood, and Richard Lamm, for work on the Lawn Lake Flood.
The family line of CDOH employees did not stop at Dick Jensen, however. Two of his sons began careers in CDOH maintenance in 1974 and 1978, both in different areas and then eventually his granddaughter joined the family legacy in 2016. Aside from generations of the Jensen family, several of their extended family members also worked for CDOH and CDOT, one of which was James Earl Trimble who was killed by a motorist who was driving too fast in 1958 while Trimble was working.
Where is the Bridge?
Motorists can spot the memorial plaque on the bridge off of US 34 at River Fork Road across from the United States Postal Service Office in Drake. The plaque, paid for by Jensen's 13 grandchildren and installed by his three sons and grandson, is inscribed with a lasting note and a true testament to his character: "Love was his Foundation."