Bijou bridge demo nears completion

       If it seems like the demolition of the Bijou bridge over Monument Creek and the railroad trucks is taking longer than the portion over I-25, that's because it is.
       But it's not the fault of the demolition subcontractor (Backhoe Services), according to Bill Badger of Rockrimmon Constructors, the contractor for the I-25 widening project called COSMIX. “They've been making tremendous progress,” he said, predicting completion of the old bridge's removal in about two weeks.
       He listed two main reasons for the slower pace at present. One is that the Union Pacific railroad requires constant cleanup to make sure that the tracks are clear.
       The other reason is that the bridge over the creek and railroad is older and built differently than the pre-stressed concrete with rebar that the state used in connecting to them when building the interstate in 1959. The creek/railroad portion was made with “huge metal I-beams,” Badger said.
       It actually consists of two bridges, side by side. The first was built in 1937 after a major flood in Colorado Springs. It was twinned in 1954, when the city decided to widen the bridge.
       While concrete can be pummelled into submission, to demolish the I-beams, “they have to be hand-cut and lifted out of place,” Badger said.
       The bridge demolition started Jan. 3.

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