Englewood pauses major bridge projects citing 'budget constraints'

Plans to replace aging South Broadway bridge, create new Oxford Avenue pedestrian bridge on hold

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Two major infrastructure plans in the City of Englewood — one to replace the aging South Broadway bridge over U.S. Highway 285 and one to create a new bridge for bicyclists and pedestrians crossing Oxford Avenue — have been paused due to "budget constraints," according to a city statement. 

"The city will no longer share updates on the project status until additional funding can be identified," the city said in a social media post Sept. 9.

The hold comes following concerns previously raised by city officials about the integrity of the South Broadway bridge, which was completed in 1955.

“Bridges built in the (1950s) and 60s had a typical service life of about 50 years,” said Jake Warren, Englewood's project manager, in an interview last year.  “Modern bridges are designed with an anticipated service life of 75 years.”

That bridge's replacement had been paired with plans to add a third lane for traffic in both directions under Broadway on Highway 285, known as Hampden Avenue in Englewood and Jefferson Avenue where the highway dips to the south.

Construction had been slated to begin this summer and continue through the end of 2023 to the tune of more than $10 million. Funding was split three ways — $7.6 million in federal funding, $0.8 million from the state and $1.7 million from the city. 

The plans for a new pedestrian bridge at the crossing of Oxford Avenue between Santa Fe Drive and Navajo Street/Windermere Street was projected to cost $2 million, with $1.6 million coming from federal dollars. 

The project aimed to improve access to the RTD Light Rail station northwest of the Oxford Avenue and Windermere Street intersection and was seen as a key element of the city's Walk and Wheel Plan and the Englewood Light Rail Corridor Plan.

The last public update for both projects was Aug. 1, when the city, in a statement, said it had received several bids from contractors for both projects but that the offers were "higher than the current budget could accommodate."

In an updated statement, the city said the lowest bid for the Broadway project was more than $4.6M over budget, while the lowest for the Oxford Avenue bridge was $600,000 over budget. 

The city said it will work with the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and Englewood City Council to identify additional funds for both projects.

englewood, city of englewood, hampden avenue bridge, south broadway, oxford avenue

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