Watch the pedestrian bridge take shape |

Watch the pedestrian bridge take shape

Stone work is being added to the new pedestrian bridge over the Colorado River and Interstate 70 in Glenwood Springs.
Colorado Department of Transportation |

Question: All the piers and girders have been placed for the pedestrian bridge. What happens next?

Construction crews now move into the next phase of construction: the bridge deck. The deck is the surface that you and I will walk and bike on when the bridge is finished. This is a larger task then you might think, given 574-foot length of pedestrian bridge.

First, crews will install the new utility lines in the pedestrian bridge. This process starts with lifting and placing the water line with a crane. The gas line is also lifted up with the crane, and then construction workers pull the line through the steel girders. Lastly, conduits for electric cables and fiber optic communication cables will be installed inside the 14 steel girders.

Next, the steel bridge deck pan will be positioned. This pan, which is a non-structural element of the bridge, gives support to the concrete while it’s being placed and cured. Once the concrete dries, the pan will serve as the deck’s foundation. Metal overhang brackets will also be attached to the sides of the steel girders to ensure greater overall support while building the bridge’s overhang. This structure will extend over the steel girders, and the metal brackets will be removed once the concrete bridge deck is complete.

Additionally, to further secure and strengthen the new bridge, approximately 40 tons of reinforced steel, called rebar, will be set inside the concrete that makes up the bridge deck. There are four larger overlook areas at the piers, and two of these overlooks will have canopies that mirror the style of the cupolas you see on the nearby train station and Hotel Colorado. These overlooks extend 9 feet wider than the rest of the pedestrian bridge, and require special framework to support the concrete until it cures.

Some onlookers may have noticed the continuous stone block work going up on the pedestrian bridge piers. Each sandstone block is set by hand in a decorative pattern, creating an aesthetic design and providing long-lasting results. The pedestrian railing will be installed after the deck is formed, cured and ready to receive it. This railing is an above average design feature with a ring panel and wire metal mesh creating an attractive, decorative look that is also highly functional.

Later in the month, the foundation and footings for the Seventh Street Station will begin construction. The Seventh Street Station is on the downtown side of the pedestrian bridge and will contain the two elevators and stairway that access the bridge deck. Also look for the deck forms to be removed in September after curing is complete. The crews will then start the final construction phase that will finish the pedestrian bridge construction.

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