Construction Today - May 2017 - 70
Civil | GRANITE CONSTRUCTION - GRAND AVENUE BRIDGE
progressed and people see what we're doing and gotten used to our
construction, [they] understand we're not impacting them as much
as they thought we would," Kalisz says.
The 60-year-old bridge suffered from structural problems and did
not meet the traffic capacity needs for the area. When it opened, the
Grand Avenue bridge was built with only two traffic lanes and sidewalks in both directions. Increasing traffic counts eventually forced
CDOT to remove the sidewalks to create a four-lane bridge. However,
the adjustment resulted in 9-foot wide lanes, 3 feet shorter than the
standard. In all, the bridge was only 37 feet wide, creating a stressful
crossing for motorists who could afford to drift only a few inches
within their tight lanes. It width was even more problematic for
semi-trucks, which often had to take up two full lanes on the bridge.
The new Grand Avenue bridge will solve the width issue. It will
still carry traffic on only four lanes, but the bridge will have shoulders and a median separating the direction of traffic. The bridge will
be 60 feet wide at its narrowest point and 78 at its apex. Despite the
extra breathing room for cars and trucks, the speed limit will remain
unchanged at 25 mph because the bridge is an entry point into
Glenwood Springs' historic downtown.
The new bridge will be strictly for vehicles. CDOT chose to rebuild
a separate, 600-foot-long pedestrian bridge alongside the Grand
Avenue Bridge partially to speed up construction and lessen the
disruption of the project. The pedestrian bridge will contain all of
the utilities that previously were built into the original bridge. "That
was the main reason we needed to get the pedestrian bridge rebuilt,
because we needed a utility bridge," Kalisz says.
'We've built a pretty good rapport and
we've been able to
work with each other.'
Already, four of the five utility lines have been moved from the
original bridge into the pedestrian overpass. Moving the utilities
was a priority to ease the construction process for the rest of the
project. As a result, the pedestrian bridge is already semi-open and
should be fully completed by July 4 once elevators are installed for
Work on the new bridge began in January 2016 and is on pace to
be completed by summer 2018. As of May, the bridge was more
than half complete, according to Kalisz. Crews made the first deck
pour on the bridge in the first week of May and were expected to
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM MAY 2017