North side transportation: Uptown Avenue Bridge opens
Members of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Regional Transportation District and city officials from Westminster and Broomfield came together on Oct. 15 to open the new Uptown Avenue bridge, formerly known as the Olde Wadsworth/112th Avenue bridge. The new Wadsworth Parkway bridge, the first completed replacement bridge which opened on Oct. 5, was also celebrated during the event.
“We are thrilled to reach this milestone,” said Mark Gosselin, US 36 Express Lanes project director. “The Uptown Avenue and the Wadsworth Parkway bridges are vital connections for the regional and local communities.”
The US 36 Express Lanes project is a $312 million, multimodule project between Federal Boulevard and 88th Avenue Street in Louisville/Superior. The project is building an express lane in each direction of U.S. 36. The lanes will accommodate high-occupancy vehicles, bus rapid transit and tolled single-occupancy vehicles. Phase 1, currently under construction, will extend from Federal Boulevard to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior and open by January 2015. Phase 2, which is expected to begin this winter, will extend from 88th Street to Table Mesa in Boulder and is set to open in January 2016.
Other bridges up for replacement in the project are the Wadsworth Boulevard bridge at 112 Avenue, Lowell Boulevard and Sheridan Boulevard bridges as well as the U.S. 36 bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Improvements will be made on the Westminster Promenade bridge and the East and West Flatiron bridges.
The project will include new electronic display signage at stations and bus priority improvements at ramps and the total cost of the project is $317 million.
“This bridge represents progress to me and is part of the FasTracks Progress,” said Judy Lubow, RTD District I Director. “The Uptown Avenue bridge is part of the infrastructure that is facilitating FasTracks and in 2016 we will see Bus Rapid Transit come to his area and be a fast, reliable, high quality form of transit for the commuters in the north.”
The US 36 Express Lanes project has been a collaborative effort amongst CDOT, RTD, contractor Ames/Granite Joint Venture, the U.S. 36 Mayors and Commissioners Coalition and the communities along the corridor, including Westminster and Broomfield. During the celebration, Westminster mayor Nancy McNally touched on the importance of the collaboration and said the effort is “a model for regionalism.”
“The cities and the counties helped bring us to this point. Replacing the bridges is an enormous part of the overall project and we at Westminster know that because we also have the Sheridan bridge,” McNally said. “When we work together, our tax dollars are being used wisely. The bridge is just the beginning and we look forward to collaborating to continue to improve our transit needs as the work continues.”
For more information on the US 36 Express Lanes Project, visit www.us36expresslanes.com.