COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Workers are preparing to replace a nearly 50-year-old bridge across Spring Creek on Airport Road, just west of the Airport-Academy Boulevard intersection.
The bridge is showing signs of age, has no sidewalks and is vulnerable to flooding from the creek below.
Work is scheduled to start in December to add sidewalks on both sides of the bridge, an area that has a lot of pedestrian traffic and where people are often forced to walk in the road to get across the bridge.
The creek occasionally overflows on the road above because it can't handle the capacity from major floods, so the project will include deepening the creek by several feet and adding drop structures to reduce the risk of flash flooding and erosion.
Aaron Egbert, the city's senior engineer, said that half of the project involves finding and relocating various utility lines in the area -- including gas, sewer and water lines owned by Colorado Springs Utilities.
That process has already begun. Members of a survey crew in the area Wednesday, however, said it was unable to find other utility lines believed to exist there.
The project also will require the temporary closing of Airport Road at the Marjorie Lee Drive intersection, starting in December. Egbert said it's unclear how long that closure will last, but it won't affect access to nearby Fire Station 8, a Family Dollar store and the Korean Baptist Church.
The project's estimated cost is $12 million, financed by revenue from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority sales tax.
Egbert said all phases of the project, from start to finish, could take as long as two years to complete.
The city has more than 400 bridges, he said, and around 100 are on a priority list for repair or replacement. However, the city has enough funding for four bridge projects annually.