Fulton to rebuild Seventh Street bridge in 2014

New span to be constructed while Westminster College out for summer

The Seventh Street bridge, as seen from the Stinson Creek trail under its span, reveals cracks in the retaining wall, holes in the pedestrian walkway and other structural problems. City officials plan to bid a project in February to completely replace the bridge.

The Seventh Street bridge, as seen from the Stinson Creek trail under its span, reveals cracks in the retaining wall, holes in the pedestrian walkway and other structural problems. City officials plan to bid a project in February to completely replace the bridge. Photo by Dean Asher.

When Westminster College students return for studies next August, they’ll still take the same route to get to classes and Priest Field, but they’ll have an all-new way to walk there.

Contractors with the city of Fulton will begin working to replace the Seventh Street bridge, which spans Stinson Creek through Westminster’s campus, by the time school lets out in May 2014.

City officials say from an anticipated start date of May 15, they have three-month window to complete the project in order to have the bridge replaced and the road open for traffic by the time Westminster students return in August.

City Engineer Greg Hayes said the city had partnered with the college on a project originally intended to be much smaller in scope, focusing on replacing the pedestrian walkway on the bridge.

“The sidewalk is independent from the bridge itself, but … we apply so much salt to that bridge during the winter that it really made the walking structure deficient,” Hayes said. “Holes were forming in the deck, things of that nature. That’s why we involved Westminster College, they’re the primary users of that pedestrian walkway across the creek.”

Hayes said that as the city moved forward in planning the project — and due to the cost in replacing the sidewalk, alone figured at about $100,000 — it expanded in scope to replace the entire bridge itself. Originally built in 1910, it was reconstructed in 1977 and has received little renovation since.

The project is expected to conclude Aug. 14.

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