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Bridge on S. Academy Blvd. closed as engineers investigate scour

South Academy Closure.jpeg
Posted at 8:10 PM, Nov 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-04 13:11:29-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A bridge closure on South Academy Boulevard is causing detours and delays for travelers in the southern portion of Colorado Springs. Civil engineers with El Paso County Department of Public Works closed the bridge Tuesday evening to investigate bridge scour.

Brett Hartzell, the project manager for the South Academy widening project, explained that scouring occurs when the force of water gradually erodes the earth beneath a bridge support.

"Although scour is kind of new to some people, it's common," Hartzell said. "All of our bridges experience scour at some point. This is why we put rip-wrap or other items there to prevent that scour."

The closed bridge crosses Fountain Creek between the exit to US Hwy 85/87 and Interstate 25. All westbound traffic on South Academy is detoured onto Hwy 85/87.

Drivers on US 85/87 needing to access South Academy west of the interstate will need to use CO Highway 16 / Mesa Ridge Parkway get onto I-25 and then exit at the South Academy Boulevard exit.

The bridge will be closed indefinitely as engineers assess the problem and make any necessary repairs.

"We're doing everything we can to open back up as quickly as possible," Hartzell said.

"We did an initial investigation yesterday and the bridge, by all accounts, was normal. We do have monitoring systems that we have in place to continue to monitor it. But as of now, there is no damage to the bridge."

The widening of South Academy Boulevard is part of the larger, multi-jurisdictionalMilitary Access, Mobility & Safety Improvement Project that is making numerous road improvements to the area. A 1.5-mile stretch of South Academy will be widened from two lanes to three in each direction to reduce congestion.

To receive updates about the construction on your cell phone, text MAMSIP to 888-970-9665.
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