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The process behind building a train bridge


Construction on the North Metro Rail Line has begun and bridges will be some of the first things built.

There are three main phases in bridge construction:
  1. Early work
  2. Structural work
  3. Track and systems work
Construction on the Third Creek Bridge on the East Rail Line
Construction on the Third Creek Bridge on RTD's East Rail Line

Phase 1

Phase 1 of bridge construction includes surveying, applying for permits, establishing traffic management plans, clearing the ground around the construction area and removing all vegetation and debris, preparing areas where equipment and supplies can be stored and utility relocations.

Phase 2

Phase 2 includes the structural work. During this phase the foundations are poured, followed by the construction of the abutments (walls that hold up the ends of the bridge), piers (the structures that hold up the middle of the bridge) and girders (the horizontal elements that sit on top of the abutments and piers).

Then the deck is poured (the top of the bridge) and the painting and finishes take place.

Rendering of bridge <br />with commuter train on it
Click for a larger image

Phase 3

During the final phase of bridge construction, the track and systems work is completed. This work includes placing the rails, installing the signal and communications systems and connecting to the electrification system including overhead contact wires and the power supply system.

The first two bridges to start construction will be over 120th Avenue and the Skyway Bridge.

Ten commuter rail bridges total

Commuter trains will cross over ten bridges on the trip between Union Station and East 124th Avenue.

The 120th Avenue Bridge will travel over 120th Avenue at Claude Court. Construction began on this bridge in November 2015 and will take approximately six months to complete.

Colorado's longest bridge

The Skyway Bridge travels from just north of Riverside Cemetery to south of the future 72nd Avenue station in Commerce City. It will be the longest bridge in Colorado at 9,553.5 feet long, almost two miles.

Construction on the Skyway Bridge began in Fall 2015. Construction will take approximately two years.
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