Emergency Chestnut Bridge Replacement Project is Complete

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –The Chestnut Bridge north of Fillmore Avenue is now open to traffic. Crews completed an emergency replacement of the bridge after the bridge experienced a culvert failure in August 2015.

“We are excited to deliver a project that will provide a long-term solution for the local community by constructing a wider bridge that can now withstand a 100-year flood event,” said City Engineering project manager Alex Pellegrino. “This was an unscheduled project that requires significant time to complete the design process and then construct a bridge. We thank area residents and businesses for their patience.”  

Although the road has opened to traffic, the contractor will remain on site through the end of November to complete minor work on the bridge.


The Chestnut Street Bridge between Vondelpark Drive and Ellston Street experienced a culvert failure August 10, 2015 when an aging corrugated metal pipe gave way after intense rainfall forcing an emergency road closure. The City Engineering Division immediately began evaluating the situation to determine the best long-term option to repair or replace the bridge. The most cost effective solution was to accelerate the planned Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority (PPRTA) bridge replacement project originally planned for 2019, rather than to throw away costs and further inconvenience residents by doing a costly temporary repair when the bridge would be replaced a few years later.  The PPRTA Board approved accelerating the Chestnut Street Bridge Replacement Project and after soliciting public input on design of the bridge, construction began in April.

Scheduled bridge replacement projects typically require one year each in the design and construction phases, but the public input, design and construction phases for this project were accelerated in an effort to cause the least amount of disruption to the neighborhood while constructing a bridge that would best meet the requirements for traffic through the neighborhood while accommodating for larger flood events.

New Bridge Features

  • Wider sidewalk on the east side of the bridge to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • An easement will be added to the east of the bridge for a future Sinton trail crossing designed to provide a better trail experience and a safe crossing at Chestnut Street. The current crossing at Ellston Street will remain in place for trail users who do not want to travel under the bridge.
  • The new bridge will be 36-foot wide as opposed to the previous eight-foot wide corrugated metal pipe.  Additionally, 26, 42-inch wide caissons were placed 23 feet down in the bedrock to support the larger bridge.   The wider opening and improved foundation will allow the new bridge to withstand 100-year flood events.  Larger capacity was necessary to handle increased flows as a result of the Waldo Canyon Fire Burn Scar.
  • The precast arch culvert structure type is approximately 25 percent less expensive than a traditional single span bridge.

This $3.5 million project (including design, construction, inspection, geotechnical support, and the stabilization phase) was designed by HDR, Inc. and constructed by SEMA . It is funded through the PPRTA (Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority).

For more about Chestnut Bridge Project visit: https://www.coloradosprings.gov/public-works/page/chestnut-street-bridge-project