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WAAP: Last of old bridge at Columbia to come down starting Jan. 30

Jan. 25, 2019
       The last vestige of the 1934 Colorado Avenue bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road will be turned to rubble starting Wednesday, Jan. 30 (weather dependent).
       According to Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project manager Brett Hartzell of El Paso County Engineering, the work will last “three to four days”
A short distance upstream from the new Adams Crossing Bridge (right), a backhoe works beside Fountain Creek in late January. The last 29-by-60-foot portion of the old bridge over the creek (just south of the new span) is scheduled for demolition over three to four days starting Jan. 30.
Westside Pioneer photo
and be accomplished during daytime hours.
       The new Adams Crossing Bridge, which was completed last October just north of what's left of the old span, will stay open during the work. “Flaggers are expected to be used when needed,” Hartzell said.
       The new bridge is a feature of WAAP, a $41 million, multi-government project that's rebuilding the 1½-mile segment of Colorado/Manitou Avenue west of 31st Street.
       The north half of the 1934 bridge was removed to make room for the Adams Crossing work. During the roughly year-long Adams construction effort, the old bridge's south half continued to carry avenue traffic. It was closed after the 95-foot-long new bridge opened.
       According to county statistics, the old bridge had been about 60 feet long and 48 feet wide. The demolished north "half" actually measured 19 feet wide, so the width of
Farther east on Colorado Avenue in late January, near 34th Street, a flagger directs alternating traffic around utility work stretching across the roadway.
Westside Pioneer photo
the south "half" to be removed is 29 feet.
       Interestingly, the new bridge, although 60 feet wide, is designed for only two lanes of motorized traffic (plus bike lanes and sidewalks), while the narrower old bridge had allowed four motorized lanes (with a sidewalk on one side).
       Including nearly 100 property purchases or easements, extensive utility relocations, the introduction of storm drains, a new bike/pedestrian “plaza” and realignments of two intersections as well as the creek, WAAP has experienced frequent issues (often leading to delays) since it started in December 2016. Once predicted for completion by the end of 2018, the project is now anticipated for “substantial completion” by June, with “various final work continuing into summer,” a Jan. 25 press release states.
       As the work goes forward, motorists should keep expecting to find flaggers directing “alternating traffic along Colorado/Manitou avenues between 31st Street and the US 24 interchange,” the press release adds.
       Typical of the kinds of problems WAAP has faced, the bridge demolition had been set for early January. However, shortly before then, Hartzell summarized, the Comcast cable company realized it could not relocate an overhead line spanning the bridge until later in the month. So the demo had to be delayed to the new date of Jan. 30, he said.

Westside Pioneer article
(Projects: Westside Avenue Action Plan)

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