New dates for Cimarron bridge demo; free parking still on March 10

       A Cimarron bridge demolition, blocking traffic both ways all weekend, will not occur March 9-12.
       However, the free on-street meter parking Saturday, March 10, which Colorado Springs City Council approved Feb. 27 to reward people for putting up with the closure, will go on as planned.
       “It was passed by council resolution, and we advertised it,” explained Mary Scott of City Communications. “We don't want to confuse people.”
       According to Bill Badger of Rockrimmon Construc-tors (the demolition contractor), the necessary permit was not received in time from the Union Pacific Railroad, so the work got delayed.
       The new plan calls for the following, according to releases from the city and Rockrimmon:
  • March 10 (from 5 to 8 a.m.) - bridge closed for three hours for crack sealing.
  • Week of March 12 - overnight closure sometime that week for barrier placement and restriping.
  • March 19-23 - crews begin the removal of the deck on the south bridge, which will mean reductions to one lane at times.
  • Evening, March 23 to early morning, March 26, - entire bridge closed to allow removal of the south-side bridge girders

           The city plan with the free parking was to reward motorists for putting up with the traffic snarls the weekend bridge closure would probably cause March 9-12. Even reduced to two lanes, as it is now, the span over Conejos Street and the railroad tracks is a key traffic carrier between the Westside and downtown.
           Now, city staff is proposing that council pass a new resolution to offer free parking again on the actual weekend the demolition does occur - without tying it to an actual date, Scott said.
           A key issue is that each time the city offers free parking on a Saturday it reduces revenue to the city's Parking Enterprise by about $5,000. While the Enterprise did not oppose the March 10 free day and is “willing to do it one more time,” the concern is a repeat of the same schedule-then-delay scenario, Scott said.

    Westside Pioneer article