Grand Avenue Bridge’s architectural features will create a lasting impression | AspenTimes.com

Grand Avenue Bridge’s architectural features will create a lasting impression

Tom Newland

A view north from downtown Glenwood Springs across the new Grand Avenue bridge.

Have you seen the construction going on between Seventh and Eighth streets downtown? You might be wondering why did we put up that labyrinth of scaffolding and what’s going to happen next.

The section of the new traffic bridge from the alley between Seventh and Eighth and the railroad tracks will have a look and feel that will be distinctive from the metal girder construction you see on the rest of the bridge.

Why? During the planning process, many different design options and possibilities were looked at. Something that the downtown community embraced was the opportunity to create a welcoming and attractive public space under the bridge. The design team responded with an open, concrete design that intends to invite people into the space below the bridge.

In addition, the pier locations have been changed to connect the Seventh Street alleys, and down-lighting will be placed to keep users secure and comfortable after dark.

The process for cast-in-place concrete girder construction is quite different from that of steel girder construction. Because of the design features on the bridge, we will be casting the concrete girders and deck in place at the project site.

Casting involves literally forming and supporting the mass of concrete that will become the bridge through a series of progressive steps. The first step is to construct a support system for the new concrete section. This is what all the scaffolding is for.

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A form is then constructed on top of the scaffolding. The form is what the concrete will be poured into to create this section of the bridge. Rebar (steel reinforcing rods) is then placed in a structural pattern on top of the form.

All this work is done in preparation for the concrete that will become the new girder and deck for the bridge. Once poured, the concrete must cure or harden for several days, and then the forms and scaffolding can be removed. We are track to begin concrete pours in this area in early October. Concrete pours will occur at night due to the large amount of concrete being poured in such a tight work area.

When the project is over, the finished product will undoubtedly become a cornerstone of downtown Glenwood; a wonderful community space for markets, mini concerts, outdoor seating for restaurants, even a kid’s play area.

TRAFFIC UPDATE

The Interstate 70 eastbound on-ramp at Exit 116 (main Glenwood exit) will remain closed through this Friday, Sept. 29 — this is necessary for new concrete work at the exit ramp. Use Exit 114 (West Glenwood) to head east on I-70 during this time.

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