- Phase 0 Construction (offline): July 2015
- Phase 1 Construction (mainline work): March 2016
- Fully Operational: December 2017
Share Your Stories
The I-25/Cimarron Interchange was originally constructed in 1960. Did you live in Colorado Springs at that time and remember it being built/before it was built? Are you interested in sharing a few "Back in Time" stories about the interchange, or memories of what you were doing or what was going on in the community/world at that point in time?
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Prioritized Project Goals
Project goals were established and approved by the Executive Oversight Committee. The goals provide direction to the project team and to the design-build contractor team.
1. Maximize overall safety, capacity and operation of the interchange and the surrounding transportation network within the Project budget;
2. Complete Project construction to be fully operational before December 2017;
3. Minimize impacts and inconvenience to the community, motorists, businesses, downtown and the public during construction; and
4. Achieve an aesthetically pleasing design compatible with current and future amenities and enhancements in and around the interchange.
What the Project Involves
Planned improvements include reconstructing I-25 between Colorado Avenue (to the north) and the Nevada Avenue/Tejon Street interchange (to the south), and include a continuous northbound travel lane between the S. Nevada/ Tejon interchange and the Cimarron interchange. Project boundaries on Cimarron are between 8th Street to the west and the Cimarron bridge over Fountain Creek to the east. Once construction is complete in 2017, the project will provide:
- Improved interstate and interchange operations and safety;
- Improved highway alignment and improved ramps, acceleration/deceleration lanes for increased vehicle storage and safety;
- New I-25 bridge structures;
- New connection between 8th Street and Cimarron Street;
- Improved trail connectivity and aesthetic treatments. Reconstruction of approximately 2,100 feet of Upper Fountain Creek, enhancing stream habitat.
- Colorado Department of Transportation
- Federal Highway Administration
- City of Colorado Springs
- El Paso County
- The Community
Progress on the Interstate-25/
Temporary Bridge over Upper Fountain Creek --
Innovative Approach Minimizes Inconvenience
Construction crews are working on a temporary bridge over Upper Fountain Creek. The public can expect to see heavy equipment and cranes in the area. This bridge is part of a temporary Interstate-25 southbound off-ramp for construction that begins Spring 2016 and provides trucks safer access to haul in major fill for permanent new lanes of traffic. The bridge will divert the construction traffic from residential streets, minimize major ramp and lane closures on I-25 and will allow removal of the southbound loop ramp sooner. This approach to construction phasing is directly related to meeting Project Goal #2, minimizing impacts and inconvenience to the community.
"This is an innovative approach to the project and was just one of the reasons that we selected Kraemer North America for this project, " said CDOT Resident Engineer Dave Watt. The bridge is being constructed over a quick six-week timeframe and is designed so that when its original purpose is complete, it can be re-used for work on northbound I-25. It will be dismantled in about a week and when needed will be reconstructed on the other side of the Interstate.
Clearing Invasive Vegetation
Crews continue to remove vegetation and invasive tree species (clearing) near the project area, in coordination with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. This work is needed to facilitate Fountain Creek restoration, Midland Trail improvements and earthwork along the west side of I-25.
Detours Keep Trails Operational During Construction of I-25/Cimarron Interchange
Midland Trail I-25 Underpass Closure
The Midland Trail I-25 underpass into America the Beautiful Park is closed for a series of trail improvements. Signed and clearly marked Midland Trail detour routes are in place for users to navigate around the closure. The new trail configuration opening Summer 2017 will create a better overall experience for trail users.
Pikes Peak Greenway Trail Detour
Project construction crews have temporarily detoured a portion of the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail from the west side of Fountain Creek to the east side. This detour is necessary for crews to install a new drainage system. Both sides of the trail will be OPEN for the American Discovery Trail Marathon on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. If necessary, the west side of the trail might close again for a few days after Labor Day to complete this drainage work. There could also be intermittent closures of this trail throughout the project, slated to be complete in Fall 2017.
Bear Creek Trail Detour
A temporary detour is also in effect at the terminus of the Bear Creek Trail at 8th Street. Access under I-25 to the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail will not be available for the next three months. The detour is necessary so crews can extend the pedestrian/bicycle underpass for the Bear Creek Trail which will accommodate the widening and reconfiguration of I-25.
A Look Ahead
Crews on the CDOT Interstate-25/Cimarron Design-Build Project will start night work Monday, Aug. 31 to construct an embankment along the western edge of southbound I-25 between Colorado Avenue and the Bear Creek Trail. Crews are constructing the embankment for what will eventually become the new alignment of southbound I-25. Constructing the embankment now will enable the ground to settle over the winter, expediting work next year to realign southbound I-25 to the west and helping ensure a quality final product.
Expect construction activity on the north and south side of the interchange's western quadrant. Relocation of utilities, drainage work and surveying will continue throughout the area with minimal traffic impact.
Take a Ride on the Midland
The Midland Trail runs east west between America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Bikers and walkers can access the Midland Trail in Manitou Springs at the visitor center or Schryver Park. In Colorado Springs, there is access from America the Beautiful Park and all major cross streets along the route. The Midland Trail connects to the Pikes Peak Greenway, Foothills Trail, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, and the City of Manitou Springs. A few trail detours near America the Beautiful Park are currently in place due to preliminary work on the I-25 / Cimarron Street (US 24) Interchange Design-Build Project.
Named after the Colorado Midland Railroad, the railroad tracks that were first built in 1885 are now part of the Midland Trail. On July 27, 1886 railroad work began between on a four mile stretch between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. The Colorado Midland Railway ran tracks from Colorado Springs and through Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls and Woodland Park in to the mines at Leadville, Aspen, and later Cripple Creek.
When biking and walking on the Midland Trail near 21st Street you may notice the unique building where Colorado Mountain Brewery stands. This was originally the Midland Terminal Railroad Roundhouse. The Colorado Midland Railroad constructed the stone fourteen-stall roundhouse in 1889 for the maintenance of its steam locomotives. In the early 1900s during World War I, the Railroad Administration took all rail traffic from the Colorado Midland and gave it to the Denver & Rio Grande. By 1921, the Colorado Midland was gone, except for the Midland Terminal line running from Colorado Springs, up Ute Pass and ending at the town of Divide, a total of only 30 miles. The Midland Terminal portion from Colorado Springs to Divide made its final trip on February 19, 1949.
While the trains stopped running many years ago, the Midland Trail in Colorado Springs and hiking opportunities along the old railroad grade near Ute Pass remind us of the rich railroad history within the region.
Additional Project Information