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Fillmore/I-25 to close overnight July 9 and 12 for south-bridge girder placement

Getting final attention are the abutments that will support the soon-to-be-laid girders for Fillmore Street's new south bridge over I-25. Behind it is the existing bridge, which will continue to carry traffic for a few months longer, before its demolition later this year.
Westside Pioneer photo
      
Recently laid concrete curbs near the Waffle House entrance define the new layout for eastbound Fillmore Street traffic to access the southbound on-ramp to I-25. The turn is farther west than before, closer to Chestnut Street. The photo was taken looking west on the old bridge, which is slated for demolition later this year as part of the interchange-replacement project.
Westside Pioneer photo
In dramatic nights for construction as well as traffic flow, both I-25 and Fillmore Street will close at the freeway interchange Thursday, July 9 and Sunday, July 12 to allow girders to be set for Fillmore's new south bridge.
       The closure each of those nights is scheduled from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., according to Ted Tjerandsen of project consultant Wilson & Company.
       The work marks a milestone in the $15.1 million project that started last February to replace the 55-year-old Fillmore/I-25 interchange.
       North and south traffic on I-25 will be able to avoid the operation both nights and keep going via the Fillmore off- and on-ramps. However, east and west traffic on Fillmore will need to find alternate routes.
       Signage will be provided for all directions of traffic, Tjerandsen said.
       Each of the six girders will weigh about 180,000 pounds and be 110 feet long. They will be trailered in, as will the two giant cranes that will work in unison both nights to lift the units into place atop the abutments that have been built into the ground below in recent months. Bright lamps will light up the scene. Plans call for four girders to go in July 9 and the other two July 12, he said.
       The girder placement would not be possible without shutting off traffic there for the night, Tjerandsen explained.
       In the weeks after the girders are set in place, Fillmore's south-bridge deck will be created over them. Contractor SEMA Construction hopes to have the span ready for traffic by late August or sooner, he said.
       Ultimately, the new south bridge will carry westbound traffic as part of the unique diverging diamond interchange design. However, during construction, when the south bridge opens it will temporarily handle the eastbound traffic while the old structure carries westbound, Tjerandsen said.
       Meanwhile, work will begin on the north bridge, with a similar construction scenario, come fall. That process will have the added ingredient of a two-phase demolition of the old structure.
       Completion of the entire new interchange - along with extended and/or upgraded ramps and freeway access/egress points - is anticipated by June of 2016.
       A lightly traveled interchange in its early years, Fillmore/I-25 has increasingly become a bottleneck as city growth has intensified in that area, leading to political support to find funding for the replacement project.
       The state chose the diverging diamond design - in which traffic on Fillmore will cross to opposite sides at either end of the interchange - for both cost and safety reasons, officials have said.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/2/15, updated 7/10/15; Transportation: Fillmore/I-25)

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