A pedestrian bridge in southern downtown Colorado Springs is expected to open Thursday, according to a city news release.

The 250-foot-long bridge, erected 30 feet above ground, will connect the America the Beautiful Park to downtown east over the railyard. Pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge onto the redesigned Vermijo Avenue, which runs from the U.S Olympic and Paralympic Museum to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum at Tejon Street, the release said.

Since it opened in 2005 south of Colorado Avenue and Cimino Drive, America the Beautiful Park has been isolated. Parkgoers could only reach the rest of downtown by using Cimino or Conejos Street, and then heading east on Colorado Avenue or Cimarron Street.

Now, with the Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Weidner Field in the neighborhood along with cranes towering above new condominium projects, the area is seeing a boom in tourism and foot traffic.

"With the opening of the bridge, residents and visitors can connect from America the Beautiful Park east into downtown as they cross the bridge and traverse the redesigned Vermijo Avenue 'signature street' that extends from the U.S Olympic and Paralympic Museum to Tejon Street and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum," the city said in a news release.

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The bridge was manufactured in Houston by a structural steel fabricator and driven to Colorado Springs in six pieces. The bridge took over a year to complete and install.

Rich Laden contributed to this report.

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