About the Bridges
The Circle Drive Bridges were originally built in 1963 by the Colorado Department of Highways. The eastbound and westbound lanes of Circle Drive are carried on a total of four bridges consisting of two sets of twin structures. The overall bridge width for both structures is 82 feet and carries two lanes of traffic in both directions. They span over Fountain Creek, the BNSF railroad, the FMIC (Irrigation), Las Vegas Street, Hancock Expressway, Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and the proposed Cycle Track and pedestrian path between Las Vegas Street and the Creek.
In 2007, an agreement between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the City of Colorado Springs (City) transferred responsibility for these structures to the City. Since that time, the City has used available funding toward repairs to keep these bridges in service. As they have exceeded their 50-year service life by five years, they now require significant repairs, and the time has come to assess the appropriate path forward – continued rehabilitation or replacement. Funding for these next steps is included as a “Priority A” capital project under the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA).
Phase I: Rehab or Replace?
The first objective of this study was to identify the best rehabilitation and replacement solutions that will last at least 30 years. Each option needed to meet current design requirements while incorporating both initial construction costs and long-term operations and maintenance costs. These two alternatives were then compared against one another to determine which solution is the best long-term investment for the City of Colorado Springs. This analysis took place in 2018.
Phase II: It’s Time to Rebuild
After several in-depth analyses, an evaluation of initial capital and a review of overall life-cycle costs, the City has determined that replacing the bridges is the best solution. Given the extensive degradation of the existing structures, the repair option would be more expensive while not fully providing for the desired structural capacity.
Currently, the project team is working to further evaluate the span configuration, identify roadway typical section and traffic phasing, and develop a cost-effective design that will facilitate a successful replacement. We want to make sure that the new bridges perform better and are safer for the community, while reducing impacts to the traveling public during construction.
Construction of the selected alternative will take approximately two years. During this time, the public may experience traffic impacts, such as detours, lane shifts and minimized speeds, and will be notified in advance.
Design is expected to be finalized late in 2020 with construction planned to begin in 2021 and last approximately two years.
To learn more about the project and provide input, attend our public open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Solid Rock Christian Life Center, 2520 Arlington Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.
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