Tejon Street railroad bridge reopens, remains in use

By Lisa Walton, The Gazette Updated: November 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm • Published: November 14, 2013 | 4:15 pm 0

A block-long stretch of south Tejon Street opened around 5 p.m. Thursday, after being closed between Mill Street and Fountain Boulevard for several hours while Union Pacific Railroad crews made repairs to the century-old railroad bridge that crosses Tejon.

A project manager with the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority was driving in the northbound lane under the bridge for a routine inspection, when track ballast fell through a hole in the bridge’s fence, breaking the side mirror on his truck, and prompting the road closure.

Thursday evening Union Pacific Railroad workers worked to patch up a fence that rock was falling through.

The bridge, which was built in 1902 and is one of the oldest bridges in the city, was put on a replacement list several years ago, a City of Colorado Springs press release said.

Despite the traffic closure, trains were still traveling over the bridge during the road closure Thursday.

PPRTA city engineering project manager Alex Pellegrino said trains go over the bridge roughly every half hour.

The same section of Tejon was closed over the course of several days last summer while railroad workers repaired a two-and-a-half-foot crack in one of the bridge’s steel beams.

According to a 2013 PPRTA report, the 47 repairs were made to the bridge, including work on the Fontanero Street railroad bridge that required a full closure of Fontanero Street from Interstate 25 to Recreation Way last summer.

According to the report, a long-range plan for bridge replacement and rehabilitation that was implemented last year, identified 40 structurally deficient bridges in the area.

Repair work will be funded by the voter-approved PPRTA II, a one-cent sales tax that provides revenue for transportation improvements.

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