- Phase 0 Construction (offline): July 2015
- Phase 1 Construction (mainline work) begins: Spring 2016
- Fully Operational: Winter 2017
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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 winter 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
Trail Users Celebrate the Reopening of
Bear Creek Trail Under I-25
From left to right: Kraemer Project Manager Mark Olsen, Kraemer Construction Manager Kassie Watson, Trails and Open Space Coalition Executive Director Susan Davies, City of Colorado Springs Parks Development Manager Chris Lieber, Bike Advocate Chris Davenport, City of Colorado Springs Parks Operation and Development Manager Kurt Schroeder and CDOT Project Manager Lesley Mace
Trail users and local businesses celebrated the reopening of Bear Creek Trail with the Interstate 25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build Project Team, staff from the City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation and Trails and Open Space Coalition. "The opening of Bear Creek Trail is the first of many milestones throughout the duration of the project. We were very pleased to open the trail, as it serves as a major thoroughfare for pedestrians and bikers. We appreciate the community's continued patience during these closures/detours and we look forward to celebrating the next milestone," said Mark Olsen, Kraemer Project Manager. Kraemer was selected by CDOT as the contractor for the I-25/Cimarron project. The company has successfully constructed numerous major infrastructure projects throughout Colorado including the Powers Boulevard Design-Build project, Woodmen Road widening and Woodmen/Academy Blvd. interchange project, and Denver US 6 Bridges reconstruction project, to name a few.
The first person to experience the new Bear Creek Trail culvert was El Paso County Parks Planner Ross Williams. "I'm excited that trail users once again have access to a direct link to Bear Creek Regional Park. This provides a more scenic and safer route for the entire biking community," said Ross Williams.
In the past three month the project team has completed the following work within the Bear Creek Trail Closure area:
- Relocated overhead power and fiber optic lines
- Completed concrete box culvert and trail connections
- Began major embankment for the new I-25 alignment
- Installed new drainage culverts
Trail users are encouraged to use extreme caution while traveling on the trail through the culvert (south of Walmart). Construction will continue in this area over the next few weeks to complete the following:
- Grading on top of the culvert to accommodate for the widening of I-25
- Rip rap (large rocks) to complete west side of the trail -- as an environmental protection measure
- Minor drainage completion
Radar Signs and VMS Boards Advise Slower Speeds at I-25/Cimarron Project
In effort to improve safety for drivers and construction crews, speed radar signs will be installed along I-25 at the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) I-25/ Cimarron Interchange Design-Build Project area. In addition, Variable Message Signs (VMS) are currently in use to notify motorists of changes in traffic patterns and road conditions ahead.
The radar speed check signs flash the speed of approaching vehicles, alerting drivers if they are exceeding the speed limit. "Radar speed check signs produce reductions in average roadway speeds, along with an increased compliance with the posted speed limit," said Dave Watt, CDOT Project Director. The speed check signs are the same type of speed detection units currently in operation at the I-25/ Fillmore Interchange Project. "In response to additional truck traffic entering and exiting the highway, CDOT is being proactive and stepping up efforts to advise drivers to slow down," said Watt. "Messages advising motorists to slow down have been posted on VMS for the past few weeks. We are now also installing the flashing radar speed check signs at the I-25/Cimarron Interchange area for speed advisory only."
A 2008 study conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) evaluated the effectiveness of treatments to reduce vehicles speeds. The study concluded that radar speed check signs were highly effective at slowing cars, even months after installation. "In 2014 the I-25/ Cimarron Interchange was ranked the third highest accident location of highway interchanges in Colorado Springs," said Colorado Springs Police Department Public Information Officer, Lt. Catherine Buckley. "Any effort to advise motorists to slow down and avoid distractions through this congested area will improve traffic safety in the area."
Pile Driving for I-25 Southbound
Over the past weeks construction crews have been *pile
driving 60-foot steel girders for what will be the I-25 southbound off-ramp bridge. These are the first permanent structures visible to the traveling public.
The southbound bridge will have a length of rough 131 feet. The depth of the superstructure will be approximately 24 inches. Both the piers and the abutments are
supported on the 60-foot steel beams driven into the soil.
*A pile driver is a mechanical device used to drive poles into soil to provide foundation support for buildings or other structures. In this case it will provide support for the off-ramp bridge.
Progress To Date
- Trails - Bear Creek Trail reopened in November
- Drainage - Installed 60-inch storm sewer line, directly jacked and bored under I-25 with minimal traffic impacts
- Road and embankment - southbound I-25 off and on-ramps - embankment, cut, clearing and fill
- Temporary southound I-25 off-ramp over Upper Fountain Creek
- Bear Creek Concrete Box Culvert
- Utility relocations
- Relocation of overhead power and fiber optic lines
A Look Ahead
Expect construction activities west of I-25, on both the north and south sides of Cimarron Street. Relocation of utilities, drainage work and surveying will continue throughout the area with minimal traffic impact.
There will be night work on I-25 and US 24 in December that requires various lane shifts.
Additional Project Information