New east campus bridge fills void left by Boulder floods

The site of new bridge construction on CU Boulder’s East Campus. (Lukas Crosby/CU Independent)

On Sept. 13, 2013, unexpected flash floods wrecked havoc on the city of Boulder. The floods accumulated over 14 inches of rain, resulting in destroyed houses, dorms, canceled classes and years of repair.

The floods destroyed 1,600 homes and forced the evacuation of over 10,000 people. Kevin Wu, a freshman at CU and Boulder resident during the floods, talked about the transportation issues that resulted.

“A lot of the school districts were down. We couldn’t go to class, many things got destroyed, several bridges in the area,”  Wu said.

Adam Brubaker, a resident from Loveland, Colorado, shared his experience from the flood and its devastation. Brubaker is now a freshman at CU.

“Half my neighborhood had to get evacuated because the water levels were too high,” Brubaker said. “People’s properties got destroyed, some even lost their houses.”

Included in the destroyed property, was a bridge on CU’s east campus. Now, five years later, its reconstruction begins.  

The new bridge will be an estimated 10 feet wide and 150 feet in length. It will connect to a new paved walkway on the north side of the creek on 19th Street.

According to the university, the new bridge will provide a direct connection between the Marine Street and Discovery Drive portions of east campus. In addition, the bridge will connect campus to Boulder Creek.

The site of new bridge construction on CU Boulder’s East Campus. (Lukas Crosby/CU Independent)

The project will cost $700,000, with $386,000 being provided by the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

Joshua Lindenstein, who is a part of Facilities Communications, said the bridge will provide more connectivity. It will connect recreation fields, student housing, parking and off-campus housing. The bridge is slated to be finished sometime between late October and early November.

It is unknown why CU chose to begin construction on the bridge so many years after the flood. However, much of the city’s infrastructure was effected and the city is still recovering — 121 miles of roadway and over 30 bridges were damaged or completely destroyed.

Several students think the construction of the bridge is a very timely event in relation to the floods.

“After the flash floods, the bridge was destroyed,” said Morgan Chisholm, a freshman at CU. “It was truly a metaphor for the emotional destruction we all experienced as a community, but now we have come together and begun to rebuild the bridge filling the gaps left behind after the floods.”

The site of new bridge construction on CU Boulder’s East Campus. (Lukas Crosby/CU Independent)

For more information contact CU Independent news reporter Lizzie Weiler at elizabeth.weiler@colorado.edu.

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