Light rail bridge provides vital link between developing communities
The build out of light rail and commuter rail transit in Denver, Colorado, is the largest infrastructure project in North America and is expected to transform the region. The West Corridor light rail, currently under construction, is the first of several rail corridors that will be built in the region over next 10 years. The corridor originates at lower downtown Denver’s historic Union Station and terminates in the City of Golden. The corridor travels through the City of Lakewood with a new station located on land recently owned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
GSA transferred 65 acres to the City of Lakewood designated for Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The north portion of this area is bound by Highway US 6. The 6th Avenue Bridge will provide a vital link between the communities north of Highway US 6 to the activity centers on the south that will be a mix of residential and employment centers. A steel tied arch structure was selected for the bridge design for its ability to span great distances without the need for intermediate piers. The elegant arches frame views of Denver’s skyline to the east and the foothills to the west.
The basket handle arches are fabricated from a square welded box made from weathering steel. The structural strand cables are configured in a cross pattern and support the shallow deck system. The bridge will be a prominent feature of this corridor and was designed as a landmark structure. Architectural enhancements include articulation of piers and pier caps. An LED lighting system will light the cross pattern cable stands. The lighting pattern is symbolic of the peaks of Rocky Mountains to the west. IBI Group is responsible for the architectural enhancement of the bridge. David Evans and Associates, Inc. is responsible for the bridge design.