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WAAP contractor starts on replacement of bridge at Adams Crossing

Westbound traffic backs up along Colorado Avenue near Columbia Road, where demolition has begun on the old bridge there over Fountain Creek. The replacement is scheduled to open in April, according to a project team estimate.
Westside Pioneer photo
Work started after Labor Day weekend on what will become the Adams Crossing bridge at Columbia Road and Colorado Avenue.
       The first step is demolition of one side of the old span (circa 1934). Crossing over Fountain Creek, the structure extends from just west of the Amanda's Fonda restaurant parking lot to a few hundred feet west of the Columbia/Colorado intersection.
       Until April - the goal for completion of the new bridge - drivers through that area can expect continued traffic restrictions with flaggers, according to El Paso County project manager Dennis Barron.
       The bridge replacement is a major part of the $30.9 million Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project, which is massively redoing the roadway between 31st Street and the Manitou interchange at Highway 24. Other improvements include utility replacements, storm drains, sidewalks and curb and gutter along that 1.5-mile stretch.
       The contractor is Wildcat Construction. The project as a whole started last December and is slated for full completion by the end of 2018.
       At a recent meeting with local residents (called “Coffee with the Contractor”), Barron and Wildcat head Zane Stultz pointed out a strategy change in the bridge construction.
Drawings show the future Adams Crossing Bridge from its north and south sides. The latter view illustrates how the Midland Trail will go under the bridge (next to - and just south of - Fountain Creek).
Courtesy of Westside Avenue Action Plan project team

       The old plan had been to build the new bridge in two phases - similar to the way it was recently done with the new interstate bridge over Cimarron Street/Highway 24.
       The new plan will start with the demolition process, but “we will leave enough of the old bridge in place for one lane in each direction,” Barron explained in a follow-up e-mail exchange. “That will allow us to build the new bridge in one phase.”
       The Adams Crossing Bridge will include sidewalks, lighting and the Midland Trail routed underneath it. The location will be just north of the 1934 edifice, the remainder of which will be torn down after the new bridge opens.
       With this approach, “I hope we can cut some time off the project,” Stultz said at the meeting.
       The bridge/avenue realignment around the Columbia/Colorado intersection is requiring the purchase of right of way from the adjacent 13-acre Garden of the Gods RV Resort. The design calls for a reworked resort access, sidewalks along Columbia Road and a stoplight at the intersection.
       Adams Crossing is the historical name for the area around the bridge. "Adams" comes from Charles Adams, a prominent citizen from the late 1800s whose house was nearby (on what's now the resort property), and "Crossing" refers to when the location was also intersected by streetcar and train tracks.
       Just when you thought the traffic was bad...
       An unexpected project by Colorado Springs Utilities could add to the WAAP congestion. As outlined at the recent contractor meeting, Utilities has found that it has to start this fall (probably in October and lasting till March) on a project to replace a failing 30-inch-wide, 1930s-era water line.
       It needs to be installed under the road surface east from Manitou along El Paso Boulevard to Columbia Road. El Paso/Pikes Peak Avenue has been the neighborhood detour for the project.
       “Three months ago, this wasn't a project,” Steve Rodriguez of Springs Utilities explained at the contractor meeting. “Now it's a priority.” He apologized for the situation, saying efforts will be made to minimize traffic delays.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 9/13/17; Projects: Westside Avenue Action Plan)

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