DENVER — The oldest bridge on the Colorado state highway system is being replaced.
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is in the midst of a project to replace the 112-year-old Alameda Bridge over Interstate 25 and the South Platte River in Denver.
CDOT said the Alameda Bridge, originally constructed in 1911 and widened in 1966 after a 1965 river flood, is the oldest bridge on the state highway system and also one of the most deficient.
Regulators have raised concerns for years about the safety of the bridge, which provides a link for residents to cross the waterway.
Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians will soon have a new way to safely cross the South Platte River as the previous bridge will be replaced with a new structure.
The project will also reconfigure the I-25 South Santa Fe Drive interchange, eliminating South Platte River Drive from Alameda to Cedar, and divert traffic to the widened South Lipan Street north of West Alameda Avenue.
The South Platte River Trail is to be reconstructed with an increased 12-foot concrete trail, a four-foot finely crushed stone trail, and three-foot vegetated shoulders for an overall trail width of 22 feet.
The project began in January and is expected to last through December 2024. Ames Construction is the project's contractor.
CDOT said of the road and bridge projects now underway across Colorado, the $22.8 million Alameda Bridge Project is the third largest in the state, and the largest to have broken ground in the Denver area.
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew held a press conference Tuesday to provide an update on the project.
"This project is going to make it safer for all those crossing the river and for the bicyclists and pedestrians connecting to the South Platte greenway trail," DeGette said. "It will provide more options for people trying to get from one side to the other whether by foot, by bike or by car which will help bring the communities on both sides of the river together."
"We love historic bridges, we don't want them to be historic while we're driving on them," Lew said. "We have a lot to do to update to make Alameda Avenue work for people for the next one hundred years."
Lew said the contractor will divert the South Platte River in October so crews can construct the north side of the bridge.
A major traffic shift will take place in 2024, when traffic will be moved onto the new north bridge, allowing for the demolition and construction of the south bridge.
"CDOT is also reconstructing the South Platte Trail under the bridge and north and south of the bridge," Lew said. "Later, next year, we are also constructing an on-street two-way protected bike lane on the north side of Alameda which will include a connection to the South Platte River Trail."
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