New Lemay Avenue Bridge to Open to Traffic December 11

Lemay Avenue at Vine, Fort Collins (Rendering provided by City of Fort Collins)

One of the most anticipated infrastructure projects in Fort Collins will open to vehicular traffic this weekend, making travel safer and more reliable in the city.

The new Lemay Avenue bridge over Vine Drive and the BNSF Railroad will open to traffic on Saturday, December 11, before the end of the day – three weeks ahead of the City’s goal of having the bridge open to vehicles by the end of 2021.

“We’re excited to be able to mark this significant milestone for Fort Collins,” said Project Manager Tim Sellers. “Not only did crews with Ames Construction work hard to get the bridge open ahead of schedule, but it will also be completed within the estimated project budget.”

Lemay Avenue at Vine, Fort Collins (Rendering provided by City of Fort Collins)

Ames Construction is the City’s contractor and AECOM was the design engineer for the $24 million project.

In addition to a new four-lane road, the new bridge and alignment will feature a multi-use path and connections to local streets at Buckingham Street/Duff Drive and Suniga Road. The new Lemay/Suniga intersection is built to accommodate the future extension of Suniga to the east.

Although the bridge will be open to traffic, lane closures will still be in effect as crews continue to address punch list items and install finishing touches to the structure and roadway through the spring. Drivers should use caution in the work zone.

“This project literally and figuratively bridges a significant transportation gap in our community,” said Caryn Champine, the City’s Planning, Development, and Transportation service area director. “Residents now have a safe, reliable connection from the northeast part of the city to the rest of Fort Collins.”

Over the next few months, final fencing, landscaping, and artwork will be installed on the bridge and surrounding area. A ribbon-cutting and celebration are being planned for later in 2022.

Bicycles and pedestrians will not be able to use the multi-use paths on either side of the bridge until concrete and fencing work is completed, likely near the end of January 2022.

Lemay Avenue at Vine, Fort Collins (Rendering provided by City of Fort Collins)

Crews from the City and Ames Construction began substantial construction on the structure in spring 2021, with planning for the new bridge being years in the making. Numerous City staff and Fort Collins residents have been involved in the project, and City Council secured final funding for the bridge in 2020.

The current intersection of Vine Drive and Lemay Avenue has seen significant congestion in recent years due to the existing railroad crossing and train switching yard as well as growth in the northeast part of Fort Collins. The new structure will help alleviate that congestion and will benefit travelers on Lemay Avenue as well as residents and visitors to the Andersonville and Alta Vista neighborhoods.

The existing Vine/Lemay intersection will remain as the intersection of Vine and 9th Street. The old alignment of Lemay from Buckingham Street south to the new alignment will be removed.

For more information and resources about the project, visit fcgov.com/engineering/vine-lemay.

FCTV has also been regularly recording drone footage of the project. To view the latest video recorded on December 3, visit https://youtu.be/9EVOLt97ZR8

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