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A crew with Westside Avenue Action Plan contractor Wildcat Construction forms the footer for the east abutment for the future Adams Crossing Bridge it will help support on Colorado Avenue over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road. According to Dennis Barron, project manager for El Paso County Engineering, the footer ties the caissons together and will support the abutment wall. In the background is the remaining half of the old avenue bridge, which will keep carrying traffic until the new span opens. The wrapped grouping of black pipes passing under the old bridge is how the creek is temporarily being rerouted from its channel to allow work to take place there.
Westside Pioneer photo

Adams Crossing Bridge starting to take form in avenue project

Large equipment is required to pump concrete into the holes (up to 20 feet deep) that are being dug for the 30 caissons that will provide a foundation for the future Adams Crossing Bridge. The work above was taking place about 100 feet west of the form-building shown in the photo above.
Westside Pioneer photo
Jan. 31, 2018
       In small ways, which are becoming more evident daily, the Adams Crossing Bridge is taking form in the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project.
       As the schedule rolls into February, crews with WAAP contractor Wildcat Construction are installing a total of 30 caissons for the two abutments and center pier that will support the new bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road.
       The abutment caissons are 30 inches wide, while those for the pier are 36. Each of the holes is 18 to 20 feet deep, according to Gigi Stolz of Bachman PR, which handles WAAP communications.
       The construction is occurring in the creekbed itself, with the creek flow temporarily routed around the work via large pipes. Those pipes pass under the remaining half of the old bridge, which will keep carrying Colorado Avenue traffic until Adams opens (before summer, according to project estimates).
       WAAP is a $30.9 million, multi-government project that is rebuilding 1½ miles of the avenue west of 31st Street.
       The north half of the old bridge was demolished last September, and since then Wildcat has been clearing the space in preparation for the new, wider span.
       WAAP's current focus is on the bridge construction, which involves the area around Columbia Road. Avenue traffic through there is mostly allowed in just one direction at a time, and flaggers are on duty.
       Flaggers have also needed to guide traffic through the work area between the avenue and where Columbia comes in. In recent months, that has meant often-circuitous steering around construction equipment, but Wildcat has now made that
A backhoe shapes the terrain in preparation for construction of the new Adams Crossing Bridge. At right is the temporary reroute around the project of the Fountain Creek flow. Closer to Columbia Road, the water flows into pipes that carry it under the bridge before releasing it into the creek channel on its far side.
Westside Pioneer photo
temporary connection “a little more direct,” Stolz said. She cautioned, however, that “there is still a lot of work to do in this area and flaggers will still be directing traffic.”
       She said that crews “in the next couple of months will be primarily in the Ridge to Columbia area, [focusing on] the bridge and walls and creek. Work further east has not yet been scheduled but will be similar to the utility work that was done in Manitou Springs in 2017.”
       That work featured deep digging into the roadway to accomplish utility relocations and the installation of underground storm drains.
       The old bridge itself (opened in 1934) will be getting some attention, to make sure it is safe for drivers for the few months of service
A view looking west shows the current "three-ring circus" aspect of the Westside Avenue Action Plan work to build the new Adams Crossing Bridge over Fountain Creek. Two of the operations were identified in photos above. Between the form-building crew and the concrete pumper is a machine that is drilling holes for the caissons.
Westside Pioneer photo
it has left. “The bridge needs some surface repairs to the asphalt. This will be addressed as temperatures permit,” Stolz said.
       A prominent element of the WAAP work east of the bridge will be the short block of Ridge Road between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues, which has been permanently closed to motorized traffic. The block will get a makeover into a plaza that will include “bus, pedestrian and bicycle services,” according to previous WAAP information.
       The WAAP project takes in an area that was known for years as “no man's land,” largely because, with sometimes overlapping jurisdiction by four governments, it suffered from public infrastructure neglect.
       One of the four governments, the Colorado Department of Transportation, has since turned over formal avenue maintenance responsibilities to El Paso County.
       Partnering with the county in managing WAAP are Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
       Finding funding (mostly from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority) and developing a plan acceptable to the county and two cities took nearly a decade before work finally started in late 2016.
       WAAP's target date for overall completion is December of this year.
       The bridge name, Adams Crossing, stems from the historical nickname - even shown that way on some old government maps - in honor of Charles Adams, a prominent 19th century businessman and nationally recognized diplomat who lived nearby. The word "crossing" back then was based not only on the avenue and creek there, but a railroad and streetcar line also going by. The modern-day Midland Trail (closed for the project) follows the former streetcar right of way west of Columbia.

Westside Pioneer article
(Projects: Westside Avenue Action Plan)

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