Joint venture of experienced I-25 design/construction firms wins COSMIX bid

       A contractor has been selected for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) I-25 widening/interchange project (officially nicknamed “COSMIX”) with schedule details expected “in the next several weeks,” according to a CDOT press release.
       COSMIX will have close-by Westside impacts, including the replacement of the Bijou Street interchange and completion of the interstate widening from South Circle Drive to North Academy Boulevard.
       The contractor is Rockrimmon Constructors, a new entity that was created as a joint venture between two Denver-area companies with experience in engineering and building Colorado interstate projects. These are CH2M HILL, which also is acting as a consultant to CDOT on the Westside Highway 24 upgrade planning; and Sema Construction, which “has done many of the major projects in Colorado Springs on I-25,” according to project manager Joseph Schroeder of CH2M HILL. These have included the I-25 interchanges at Circle Drive and North Academy Boulevard, the sound walls and three-lane widening between Bijou and Fillmore streets.
       The two firms worked together on the I-225 project in Parker in 2003, although not as a joint venture.
       “It was very clear to us who would be the perfect construction firm for us to team up with,” said Shroeder, whose personal project-management background goes back 25 years and most recently involved in the I-76 and 120th Street upgrade in the Denver area.
       The COSMIX cost has been estimated at different times by CDOT as between $130 million and $150 million. The contract to Rockrimmon is for $130 million, with construction expected to get underway in late spring, the CDOT release said.
       The joint venture entity was chosen among four that bid on the project. CDOT had been studying the bid packages for several weeks before announcing its decision Jan. 27.
       “We were looking for the best value within the project budget,” said Dave Poling, CDOT's project manager. “Rockrimmon Constructors was chosen in part because of its innovative method of handling traffic during construction, aggressive approach to reduce various closures, its ability to manage the budget in order to include extra work within the set price, and its commitment to meet the 2008 completion date.”
       Asked about how Rockrimmon will handle the Bijou interchange replacement, Schroeder noted that COSMIX is a design-build project and, as such, the construction group needs time to work out planning details - not only with CDOT, but with Colorado Springs, which will be reworking some connector streets on the downtown side of the interchange in conjunction with the project.
       “There are a lot of parts and pieces,” he said. “It's an important interchange to the downtown and Colorado Springs.”
       The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that was approved by the federal government last year encompassed an estimated $550 million worth of needs - including a new interchange at Cimarron Street and I-25 - but funding for the non-COSMIX work has yet to be obtained.
       The current project is slated to be complete in the year 2008.

Westside Pioneer article