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New southbound on/off-ramps to open at Cimarron/I-25 this weekend

      
In a photo from early 2015, before the Cimarron/I-25 interchange replacement project started, a view west from the interstate showed how the old, curving southbound off-ramp intersected the south side of Cimarron at a stoplight. As part of the interchange project, that loop is being replaced with a modern configuration, coming straight down to the opposite (north) side of Cimarron.
Westside Pioneer file photo
The weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 14-15 has been designated for the opening of two new ramps in the $113 million Cimarron/I-25 interchange replacement project.
       According to a press release from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the southbound off-ramp is to open May 14 and the southbound on-ramp May 15 (weather-dependent).
       Earthwork to shape both new ramp alignments has been under way since last summer.
       Instead of the loop layout built in 1960, the new exit ramp will start a quarter-mile north of the interchange and go straight down to the north side of Cimarron Street/Highway 24, according to project plans by CDOT and contractor Kraemer/TSH.
       “The partial cloverleaf loop off-ramp design is outdated and does not adequately support the 9,500 vehicles per hour that travel through the I-25/Cimarron corridor
A crew with project contractor Kraemer/TSH works on the supports for the interstate's future through-traffic southbound bridge at the Cimmaron/I-25 interchange. The view is to the northeast. Behind them, cars travel on the existing I-25 bridges over Cimarron. In the farther background is the Colorado Springs downtown. The $113 million interchange-replacement project started a year ago and is due for completion in late 2017.
Westside Pioneer photo
during peak times each day,” states a CDOT press release.
       Regarding the on-ramp, it “will provide double the acceleration and merge distances [provided by] the previous ramp,” the release continues.
       “Since the existing loop off-ramp has been in place for the past 56 years, there will be an adjustment for motorists who frequent this area," CDOT Project Director Dave Watt is quoted in the press release, "The traveling public should watch for signage to access the new exit ramp, drive slowly and avoid distractions.”
       In preparation for the weekend openings, the southbound I-25 off-ramp at Cimarron will be closed overnight Tuesday, May 10 from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., the press release notes. Traffic will detour on Bijou Street.
       Other work is continuing at Cimarron/I-25. This will lead to various overnight lane restrictions and traffic realignments in the coming months, including occasional overnight closures for southbound I-25 between the Bijou and Nevada/Tejon interchanges on I-25, according to CDOT.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 5/9/16; Transportation: Cimarron/I-25)

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