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June 15, 2018
Regional Rail Partners, a joint venture of Balfour Beatty and Graham Construction, is proud to be building the longest bridge in Colorado. Appropriately named the Skyway Bridge, the structure spans 9,533 feet long and, at its highest point, stands nearly 50 feet above grade. The bridge is part of the 12.5-mile commuter rail line, North Metro Rail Line, that will run from Denver Union Station through Commerce City, Northglenn, and Thornton, Colorado.
The Skyway Bridge is one of 13 bridges on the project. While generally it is more expensive to build a bridge than travel on land, in the case of this bridge, mitigating hundreds of environmental and construction impacts, as well as preserving private property to the greatest extent possible made the bridge a far better option.
Designing the bridge took nearly a year and a half and required coordination from eight governmental/regional stakeholders. Construction of the structure has taken the better part of three years and hundreds of crew members. The last sets of girders were set in April and the rail on the bridge will be complete in summer 2018.
The Skyway Bridge has 63 piers and 192 concrete girders, each varying in length from 130 feet to as long as 160 feet. It features five emergency access/egress towers which will be equipped with LED lights. Fixed CCTV cameras will be positioned at the north and south approaches and midway between, and two PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras will be installed for general observation. Intrusion detection alarms will be located on both the top and bottom gates of each tower. When the project is complete in 2019, the Skyway Bridge will carry electric commuter rail trains across 11 existing transportation corridors and waterways.