LARIMER COUNTY — Along Highway 34 in the town of Drake sits a monument to a man that no one will notice. The plaque sits on a small bridge that allows a small side road to cross over the Big Thompson River.
It reads, "Dedicated to Dick Jensen. May 30, 1930, to January 28, 2018. Love was his Foundation."
Dick Jensen worked for the Colorado Highway Department doing maintenance.
"You know you had a paycheck coming in every month - wasn't too much to begin with," said Marilyn Jensen, Dick's wife.
Marilyn worked for the state. She and Dick had three kids and, over time, Dick developed an area of expertise at work.
"He's worked on probably every bridge in the northern area," Marilyn said.
Dick's father, Albert Jensen, was the first one to start with the Highway Department.
"Grandpa Jensen was the first one to start with the Highway Department," said Randy Jensen, Dick's son. "I started with the state in 1978."
Randy's oldest brother, Rick Jensen, also followed suit.
"Best looking and smartest out of the whole bunch," Rick said.
The Jensens kept the roads plowed in the winter and the potholes filled in the spring.
"I think it's a big deal having that many people from the family that carried on with the department," Rick said.
Three generations and a total of seven Jensens worked on the roads. They said they've built or fixed nearly every bridge in the state highway system.
"We have pretty much the entire state covered," Randy said.
But, out of all the bridges Dick Jensen worked on, the one in Drake was his favorite.
"Did the planning, the engineering, built it, the whole bit," Marilyn said.
At the time, the state told a man with only a high school diploma to design and build his own bridge.
"He built a lot of bridges, He worked on a lot of bridges," Rick said. "That one bridge was his pride and joy mainly because it did survive two major floods."
When the Big Thompson River went over its bank in 1976 and 2013, it created major problems for the entire Larimer County area and beyond. But Jensen's bridge was one of the few that remained intact.
"That's why it withstood the floods because it was built on solid rock," Marilyn Jensen said.
She said that foundation is just like their family.
"And, Stacia is the latest one to go to work. She made it four generations," she continued.
Stacia Sellers is now the eighth Jensen to work the Highway Department, now called the Colorado Department of Transportation. Though Sellers dreamed of driving trucks like her Dad, Randy, and her Grandfather, Dick, she works in communications.
"I always get teased about things that my dad and uncle have done," Seller said. "So, you know, I try my best to stick up for them, but you know -- not really."
She is feeling the pressure from the family to keep the streak alive in the fifth generation -- her yet to be born children -- even though she's not married or pregnant yet.
"As soon as they are born, it's like okay we're going to work for CDOT, dress you in orange and just keep moving," Sellers said while laughing.
When they go to Jensen's Bridge, the family sees a monument to a man, but its really for all the Jensens.
"That bridge represents what..." Randy said while tearing up. "I think that bridge represents what he was all about."
Hard work, dedication, and making a difference on Colorado roads, that likely no one will ever notice, according to Marilyn.
"I think it's become important to our whole family," she said.