Cyclists cut ribbon at bridge opening

Posted 10/19/09

Tom Munds It was fitting that three long-time cyclists broke through the tape to officially dedicate the pedestrian/bike bridge over the South Platte …

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Cyclists cut ribbon at bridge opening


Tom Munds

It was fitting that three long-time cyclists broke through the tape to officially dedicate the pedestrian/bike bridge over the South Platte River, just north of Oxford Avenue.

The bridge adjacent to the Broken Tee at Englewood Golf Course and another bridge just south of Dartmouth Avenue were opened earlier this year but officials from the City of Englewood, Arapahoe County and several other agencies gathered at the bridge Oct. 17 for the official dedication of the bridge and a second span north near Dartmouth Avenue.

Officials asked avid cyclists Don and Gloria Siekmeier and Karle Meyer to help with the dedication so, instead of the tradition of cutting a ribbon with scissors at a dedication, the trio rode their bikes across the bridge and broke the crepe paper “ribbon.”

The trio were selected at random the day of the event and it proved to be a special event for the Siekmeiers as it was Gloria’s birthday.

Gloria is a Ride the Rockies veteran and Don said he and his wife regularly ride the 24-mile round trip on the Mary Carter Greenway Bike Path from their home in south Denver to Chatfield Reservoir. He estimates they have ridden about 36,000 miles on the trail.

“The two bridges make the trail even nicer,” Gloria said. “I think both the bridges are a fantastic addition to the trail.”

Karle Meyer, a Highlands Ranch resident, also rides the Mary Carter trail a lot, even in the winter.

“I know the trail like the back of my hand,” he said. “The bridge at the golf course is nice and it makes it safer for cyclists because, when we shared the other bridge with golf carts, they didn’t usually yield. But, for me, the big addition is the Dartmouth bridge. Before it was completed, you could get killed on a bike trying to ride on Dartmouth. The bridges are a great addition and I appreciate all that went into getting them built.”

The Oct. 17 dedication ceremonies marked the official completion of the two spans over the river built with a combination of city, county and federal money to address a number of safety hazards.

The span near Oxford Avenue and the Broken Tee at Englewood Golf Course for pedestrians and cyclists eliminated the hazard caused when pedestrians, cyclists and skaters had to share the single bridge with golf carts. Additionally, to enhance safety by slowing traffic, a round-about will be built adjacent tot he bridge. The bridge near Dartmouth Avenue makes it safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the South Platte River.

He said Englewood first applied for federal funds administered by Colorado Department of Transportation for the projects. The projects were approved and eventually the city received federal funds but only to complete the bridge designs.

Englewood continued to seek construction funding and finally, in late 2008, CDOT released the federal money for both projects.

The total cost of the Oxford bridge is about $851,000 with about $579,000 coming from federal funds. The city’s match will be about $102,000 plus, as part of the agreement to redo the golf course, River Point developer Miller Weingarten will contribute about $170,000 to the project.

To the north, the total cost of the Dartmouth project is about $843,000. The federal share is $435,000 and Englewood is to supply the remaining funds, about $408,000

However, Englewood has applied for and received an Arapahoe County Open Spate Grant for $250,000, which will help cover the city portion of the Dartmouth bridge.


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