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Span for 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge Now in Place

DENVER – ­ On Saturday, Nov. 23, a crane hoisted a massive steel truss into the air, which workers then positioned between two concrete ramps, creating the frame for the 42-foot-tall, 1,300 foot-long 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge. It marks a major milestone for the $15 million project, which is on track for a spring 2020 opening. The bridge is an active construction site and currently closed to the public. Built at a fabrication shop in Greely, Colorado, the steel truss frame traveled more than 60 miles to the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, where it now spans over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and will provide safer and more efficient routes through the community.

With the truss now in place, crucial safety and accessibility features must be completed including construction of handrails and roofing, and lighting and concrete work at the approaches to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Once open, the bridge will be capable of holding 1.1 million pounds, or roughly 7,500 people. Situated close to Swansea Elementary School, an estimated 100 children travel east and west between the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods each school day and currently must walk over the railroad tracks. For years, the community has worked with council members and the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative to advocate for a pedestrian bridge. In November 2017, after a nearly year-long community engagement process, voters approved the Elevate Denver Bond Program and awarded $9.4 million toward design and construction of the 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge to bring safe mobility and connectivity to the area.

From public meetings with the design team to groundbreaking ceremonies with the Mayor, the community has continued to be involved and guide the project. A group of nearly 30 children even created their own model bridges during a Build-A Bridge event where they used popsicle sticks and pom-poms to create their own vison for the bridge.

Once complete, the site will feature a 3,500-square-foot plaza on the east side with benches, lighting and landscaping to create a community-gathering space.

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