Public asked for feedback on 4 alternatives to replace Chestnut Street bridge
During the latter part of the two-hour session in the Springs Journey Church meeting hall, city bridge specialist Aaron Egbert said that most people seemed to like a design that showed an arched culvert in which the Sinton Trail would pass underneath next to South Douglas Creek.
The public feedback was sought as part of a city analysis with its design consultant, HDR Inc.
The bridge, which goes over South Douglas Creek, has been closed since Aug. 10 between Vondelpark Drive and Ellston Street, when the compacted dirt under the pavement began to give way, creating a sinkhole that caused the road to break apart.
Chestnut is a two-lane frontage road west of I-25 that connects Fillmore Street and Garden of the Gods Road. Its traffic is being detoured through
A schedule displayed at the open house showed a new bridge design being finalized by the end of January, a contractor starting work by March and the road reopening by October 2016.
Engineers have blamed the hole on a failed corrugated metal storm pipe under the dirt, 30 feet down. That 5-foot-wide pipe used to carry the South Douglas Creek flow. A city contractor has since removed the rest of the pavement and the pipe and capped off the utility lines (formerly under the bridge deck) and regraded the site to mitigate drainage issues until construction can begin.
No cost estimates are available yet for the bridge replacement, which caused some frustration for citizens at the meeting trying to decide which alternative to favor.
In answer to a reporter's question, City Engineer Mike Chaves said the least costly would be Alternative 1, a
Funding exists to cover at least most of the project costs. Voters in 2012 approved the storm pipe's replacement as a $1.8 million A-list item for the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, with the scope including a rebuild of the bridge itself, Egbert said. The original schedule had called for this project in 2019.
According to City Engineering, all four bridge alternatives would include the following:
- A wider bridge deck (from 34 to 42 feet), which would make room for sidewalks (previously there were only narrow paths outside the guard rails) and bike lanes on either side.
- A rerouting of the Sinton Trail under the bridge, next to the new creek channel. The trail now crosses Chestnut Street at grade at Ellston Street. It would go under the bridge, either in a culvert (Alternatives 1, 2A and 2B) or in the open (Alternative 3).
- Utilities under the bridge deck.
- A creek channel capable of handling a 100-year flood.
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