Traffic flows across new Adams Crossing Bridge... but work far from doneOct. 19, 2018
Rebar is exposed in places, there's no stoplight yet, the roadway is several feet narrower than it will be, the striping is temporary, and orange cones are everywhere.
But the Adams Crossing Bridge is finally open.
In what El Paso County is calling a “major milestone” in the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP), the new span over Fountain Creek just west of Columbia
“This will be a real help for traffic,” commented County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf, whose District 3 includes the Colorado Springs Westside. He was referring to more than a year of bottlenecks in that zone since bridge work started in September 2017.
However, WAAP is far from over, with continued traffic impacts anticipated into 2019, mainly east of the new bridge. The $35 million-plus undertaking is drastically upgrading the public infrastructure along a roughly 1˝-mile corridor of Manitou/Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street which had been mocked for years as “no man's land.”
The project involves the county, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, with the county handling its management.
The old bridge was built in 1934. For WAAP, its north half was demolished to make room for the new structure. Meanwhile, until Oct. 19, the south half was carrying the avenue traffic. The future will see it demolished and the rest of the new bridge built where part of it had been.
According to plans, the roadway eventually will have, in addition to the two through lanes, a center lane and, on both sides, bike lanes, curb-and-gutter and sidewalks.
A stoplight will be installed to control traffic at Colorado Avenue and Columbia Road (which also includes the entrance to the Garden of the Gods Resort RV park). For now both
According to Chris Jennings of Jacobs Engineering, which worked closely with project contractor Wildcat Construction on the bridge, the full widening and stoplight aspects will be added in the coming months, with full operational capability being attained in 2019.
The bridge had originally been scheduled to open last May, but issues arose - which have also led to increased WAAP costs - related to weather, logistics, unexpected complications in the ground and easement-access problems, according to the county.
The name, “Adams Crossing,” is a nod to General Charles Adams, a late 1800s businessman and nationally known diplomat who lived close to the bridge site. The name came about because, in addition to the roadway bridge at the creek, the location also was an intersection for streetcar and train tracks. The current Midland Trail follows the old streetcar/train right of way.
With the bridge's opening the following related facts were provided by Greg Dingrando, a communications specialist with the county.
- Width: 46' from curb to curb.
- Length: 95'10” from end to end.
- The bridge is designed to handle storms over a 100-year frequency that has flows exceeding 3,706 cubic feet per second (CFS).
- The bridge deck alone consists of roughly 821 cubic yards of concrete (22,167 cubic feet) with 49,760 lbs of reinforcing steel.
- The deck rests on 20 concrete box girders that are supported by six reinforced concrete columns which, according to project engineers, go 16 to 24 feet into bedrock below the creek channel.
- In total, around 121,415 lbs of reinforcing steel was used to construct the entire bridge.
Westside Pioneer article