Cimarron bridge demo seen in 2 weeks, will follow Bijou work

       Despite a few unresolved details, plans are being finalized for the south side of the Cimarron-Conejos bridge to be torn down right after the Bijou Street bridge is demolished.
       The contractor will be Backhoe Services - the same company working on Bijou as part of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) I-25 widening project (called COSMIX).
       Because its crews first must finish Bijou, the earliest they can start on Cimarron is in about two weeks, when work at Bijou is complete, according to Bill Badger of Rockrimmon Constructors, the COSMIX contractor which submitted the demo bid. However, preliminary activities - including the movement of some heavy equipment and installation of additional concrete barriers at Cimarron - are likely to start occurring sooner than that, he said.
       The Cimarron bridge is just east of I-25, spanning Conejos Street and the railroad tracks. Because of structural problems, the 49-year-old structure's south side has been closed since August.
       The south-side demo work will not affect traffic, which will continue to be one lane each way on the bridge's north side, with no trucks allowed.
       The official contract status, as of press time Jan. 24, stood this way: City Engineering, working through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA), had told CDOT to go ahead with a change order which would add the demolition to the COSMIX project, according to RTA spokeswoman Mary Scott. And, CDOT had begun drafting - but not quite finished - a letter of direction that would formally put Rockrimmon Constructors on the job, Badger said.
       Another issue was that the Union Pacific railroad had still not granted a right of way allowing demo work above the tracks. CDOT has been “working aggressively” to obtain this long-requested permit, he said. He added that he expects the permit should be in place by the time the contract is done and Backhoe Services mobilized.
       Total cost is evidently not an issue. The city had set a ceiling of $500,000 for the demolition work; the Rockrimmon bid for Backhoe Services is between $300,000 and $400,000, Badger said.
       No contract is being negotiated yet for the rest of the Cimarron bridge project - including construction of the south side, demo of the north side and construction of its replacement - although Rockrimmon, under an agreement with the RTA last fall, has been designing it with the hope of getting the work at some point, Badger said.
       The total project, funded by the RTA, is expected to cost $8 million. Work is slated for completion by the end of 2007.

Westside Pioneer article