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Plan change: Fillmore/I-25 to close overnight July 12 and 13 for girder work

      
Crews from SEMA Construction prepare the abutments for the new south bridge at Fillmore/I-25. Part of the current bridge, from which the photo was taken, can be seen in the lower right corner.
Westside Pioneer photo
A rainstorm July 9 delayed plans for large girders to be placed for Fillmore's new south bridge. As a result, the overnight project (which had originally been announced for July 9 and 12) will be July 12 and 13, states a press release July 10 from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
       It will mean a closure both nights from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. of the Fillmore bridge as well as for through traffic on the interstate.
       North and south vehicles on I-25 will be able to keep going via the Fillmore off- and on-ramps. However, east and west traffic on Fillmore will need to find alternate routes, 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.
       Each of the six girders weighs about 180,000 pounds and be 110 feet long. Two giant cranes 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.
       The girder placement would not be possible without shutting off traffic at the interchange both nights, 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 7/10/15; Transportation: Fillmore/I-25)

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