This will be the result of contractor Kraemer/TSH starting on the more impactful aspects of the $113 million project, which will replace the entire interchange, including its ramp system.
Since work started in May 2015, Kraemer has been in what it termed “Phase 0,”
Now, with Phase 1 starting this month, the focus is on the roads themselves. A prominent aspect will be the new southbound off-ramp configuration, replacing the loop that was part of the original interchange in 1960.
The switch, slated to occur in late April, “marks the start of construction impacts to traffic, but in the long term these changes will maximize overall safety, capacity and operation of the interchange,” said CDOT Project Director Dave Watt.
The project is on schedule, he added, with no change in plans to complete the project by December 2017.
Plans still ultimately call for a new shortcut road (which CDOT calls a “quadrant”) between Eighth Street (the shopping center entrance by Popeye's) and Cimarron Street/Highway 24 (just west of Fountain Creek). However, Watt said that the connection - once planned for Phase 1 - has been moved back to Phase 2.
The main reason is logistics: The contractor is setting up a temporary concrete batch plant in the area that the quadrant will go, and it will stay there until spring 2017.
The plant “will supply approximately 22,000 cubic yards of concrete, nearly four times the amount used when constructing Sports Authority Field at Mile High stadium,” a CDOT press release states. “The plant will only supply the concrete for the roadway pavement work of this project. Local ready-mix suppliers will provide the concrete for bridges, curb and gutter work and trails.”
The press release also lists these activities to look for in Phase 1:
- Narrowed lanes and reduced shoulders.
- Re-striping activities and barriers being set.
- Various traffic realignments.
- Median work on Cimarron and I-25 to allow for future alignment.
- Realigning the existing I-25 southbound on-ramp.
- Bridge construction (a new Cimarron bridge over Fountain Creek and an I-25 bridge over Cimarron).
- Temporary traffic signals on Cimarron at the new I-25 southbound off-ramp.
- Nighttime work with intermittent lane restrictions.
- Paving operations throughout the project area.
Watt noted that three lanes of traffic will be maintained northbound and southbound on I-25 during the daytime. Freeway speeds through the interchange will be lowered to 55 mph, he said.
Westside Pioneer article