Event Marks Opening of 4th Street Bridge

December 10, 2010 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - State’s longest highway bridge span set to open to traffic.

PUEBLO — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the City of Pueblo celebrated the completion of the eastbound structure on the 4th Street Bridge today, greatly enhancing the flow of traffic between Interstate 25, downtown and west Pueblo.

“This is a signature bridge for Pueblo, combining our heritage and style,” said Pueblo City Council President Larry Atencio.  “It is truly a gem."

Construction began in December 2007 to replace the 4th Street Bridge, which crosses the Arkansas River, a floodway, the Pueblo railroad yard and a city street, just west of downtown.  The 1200-foot long bridges each have two, 12-foot travel lanes, six-foot inside shoulders, 10-foot outside shoulders and 10-foot sidewalks.  In addition, the structure’s load carrying capacity has been increased, drainage and safety clearances for railroad operations have been improved and the area’s aesthetics have been enhanced.

The new bridges, which have been realigned slightly to the north, replace a 52-year-old structure that was functionally obsolete and deficient.

“With the reconstruction of the 4th Street Bridge, we’ve accomplished our goal of maximizing capacity and enhancing safety through the area,” said CDOT Deputy Executive Director Peggy Catlin.  “The new bridge now will be able to handle current and future traffic needs and improve safety for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.”

The $27.7 million project was completed in two phases.  While the new structures were under construction, all traffic continued to use the old bridge. In April, 2010, the westbound bridge was completed and opened to traffic in a two-lane configuration, allowing the original structure to be demolished and make room for construction of the new eastbound bridge.

Following today’s opening ceremony, additional finishing work still is required to open the bridge to traffic.  CDOT anticipates opening it Friday or early next week.

Although work on the eastbound structure is finished, traffic will continue to travel on the concrete bridge deck until spring, when warmer temperatures allow final paving to be completed.  In addition, single lane closures will be in place, as needed, during daytime hours for the next several months for additional finishing work, including landscaping.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in summer 2011.

Flatiron Constructors Inc. of Longmont, Colo. is the project’s prime contractor.  FIGG Engineering of Denver, Colo., was the bridge designer.