6th Avenue Arch Bridge Construction Engineering
Overview

The new 12-mile West Rail Line opened in May, 2013 giving light rail passengers more access to the Denver metro area than ever before. The new line between Denver, Lakewood, and Golden, Colorado on the W line provides 11 new stations and 6 new Park-n-Rides. With this new line, a new bridge was needed: the 6th Avenue Arch Bridge. This ballasted light rail arch bridge carries double track service over the 6th Avenue Freeway and is the signature bridge of the West Corridor.

Summit Engineering (Summit) developed an innovative, accelerated construction method that required a short duration closure of the freeway to completely construct the arch. Initially, the arch was fully assembled on-site near its final location. With all lanes of 6th Avenue closed on a Saturday morning, the fully-assembled arch was rolled across 6th Avenue. Both of the transport trailers contained hydraulic rams to keep the platforms level. The arch’s southern end traveled on guided rollers pushed by hydraulic rams, which were the main driving force. Fourteen hours later, the steel arch came to its final resting place spanning all lanes of 6th Avenue.This was the first time in the United States that a basket-handle, tied arch was “rolled out” using this method.

Bridge Geometry
Length of Main Span 286 feet
Total Project Length 610 feet
Lanes on Existing Structure Two Tracks

This was the first time in the United States that a basket-handle, tied arch was “rolled out” using this method.

- Gregg A. Reese, PE, President, Summit Engineering Group