COLORADO SPRINGS – A year-long traffic bottleneck on North Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs is about to get better. The $8 million bridge replacement project over Cottonwood Creek was supposed to wrap a couple of months back. Overdue but, now just a couple of weeks from completion.
The reason for the project is more than updating the bridge. “It was really more of a pedestrian safety issue,” said Colorado Springs Senior Engineer, Aaron Egbert. It adds wide and protected sidewalks on both sides of the road. Underneath, there is now a major pedestrian trail connection.
The pedestrian route is a long awaited link. For decades, trail planners have wanted this major trail connection. “So that we could open up Cottonwood Creek Trail all the way essentially from Powers Boulevard to the Greenway,” said Egbert.
The estimated deadline for completion is several months past the estimated timeline for completion. Blame the extreme cold at the first of the year. “We had to really shutdown for paving… to get the proper temperatures. So there was a couple month delay in there. Longer than expected.” Work is now at full capacity. The official opening is the first week of May.