Just a little county bridge to a Westside RV park... but it's finally being builtAug. 2, 2018
The Golden Lane traffic bridge is a small span in an obscure place, but it still belongs to El Paso County and it's finally being replaced - 10 years after it was identified as substandard.
Located a block south of Colorado Avenue and about 100 feet east of 31st Street, the less than 50-foot-long bridge's sole job is to carry traffic in and out of the
According to county spokesperson Dave Rose, construction started in April on the new bridge. Completion is scheduled in October. The contractor is SEMA Construction. Managed by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the project is costing slightly more than $1.1 million, with the expense shared nearly equally between a federal grant and the El Paso County Road and Bridge Fund.
The bridge will be slightly wider than before, with room for two lanes instead of just one, Rose said.
It also features large concrete box culverts, designed to withstand a 100-year flood. The July 23 cloudburst gave the culverts an early test when floodwaters crested near the top of the bridge. But the structure survived without serious damage, according to contractor findings the next day.
It was early 2008 when the county revealed that the old bridge, built in 1950, had a sub-50 percent sufficiency rating, which, based on safety policies, required
A County Transportation Department report stated that the timber/steel structure had “rusted outside steel girders, rusted steel floor beams, cracked timber stringers, cracked and rotted timber piling, and exposed footing at [the] south abutment.”
The plan in 2008 was to replace the bridge that year. The anticipated cost was $700,000, with a federal grant slated to pick up 80 percent of the tab, according to county information at that time.
But the replacement didn't happen, and the years rolled by. Still, it wasn't as if the county had forgotten about it.
“The Golden Lane bridge has been regularly monitored and inspected, and we are extremely fortunate that the bridge has continued to serve its function safely,” Rose said. “It speaks well of the strength of that 1950 wooden support structure that it has held up in Fountain Creek for 68 years, and its replacement is long overdue.”
The only noteworthy damage in that 10 years was a roughly $100,000 abutment repair after the flooding of 2013.
Rose noted that 2008 was when the Great Recession started, which sent county tax revenues plummeting. Then came the Waldo Canyon Fire of 2012 and the also-devastating Black Forest fire a year later.
In the election of 2016, Rose explained, voters were asked to let the county retain excess property tax money under the TABOR law. “With that approval, the county is now starting to address a backlog of infrastructure maintenance and repair projects that grew exponentially through the recession, fire and floods,” Rose said, and Golden Lane is part of that.
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