City contractors will haul a 250-foot-long pedestrian bridge into place Monday over the railroad tracks between the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and America the Beautiful Park.
The new $20 million bridge drew from the architectural themes of the recently opened museum and is expected to become a new iconic downtown structure, said Ryan Phipps, senior engineer with the city of Colorado Springs.
“It’s going to be source of civic pride,” he said.
The bridge is expected to be placed within an eight-hour window and rolled slowly onto its abutments by large self-propelled modular transporters, vehicles that provide a stable platform on numerous wheels, he said. The vehicles are expected to be the safest way to move the 300-ton steel and concrete structure, he said.
“It will be very exciting to watch,” he said.
The bridge had to be built before it was placed over the railroad tracks because construction could not disrupt freight traffic for an extended period, he said.
The structure is the latest step in the revitalization of southwest downtown, a vision that’s been decades in the making and is now coming to fruition with the improvements along Vermijo Avenue, the museum’s opening and the construction of the new downtown stadium southwest of Cimarron and Sahwatch streets.
The bridge was designed to match the Olympic museum and the architects drew inspiration from Olympic athletes themselves, designing it to be sleek, minimal and to invoke the idea of motion, said Holly Deichmann Chacon the bridge’s architect with Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
The bridge’s beauty will also contribute to plans for a modern and urban downtown expected to see about $2 billion in infrastructure and commercial investment over the next 20 years, said Bob Cope, economic development manager.
“We knew it couldn’t be a typical bridge. … We knew