Adams Crossing Bridge starting to take form in avenue project
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
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 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