COSMIX underway north of Fillmore
Barriers to allow widening into median

       Concrete barriers were being installed this week along the sides of the I-25 median between the Fillmore Street and Garden of the Gods Road interchanges.
       The barriers, among the first visible signs that the I-25-widening project known as COSMIX is starting, will remain “for the life of the project,” said COSMIX spokesperson Bill Badger. “They're intended to separate traffic from construction. We'll only remove them when we're ready to restripe the highway for three lanes.”
       In a project continuing through 2008, the interstate is being widened from two 12-foot-wide lanes to three in both directions through the heart of Colorado Springs. The new Fillmore-Garden of the Gods lanes will not be opened to traffic until late 2006 - when the interstate has been widened all the way to Rockrimmon Boulevard, Badger said
       The third lane on each side is being added inside the current fast lane, meaning it will be at the expense of part of the median. Currently, the average median width between Fillmore and Garden of the Gods is 60 feet, including a 4-foot shoulder on either side. The new pavement will pare that down to about 28 feet, including the shoulders, according to COSMIX information.
       “In the future, we'll be adding a fourth lane to the outside (off the right lane) and change the inside (fast) lane to a high occupancy vehicle lane,” he said. “We're doing it this way now because it's harder to widen to the inside than outside.”
       When the temporary barriers eventually come out, a 3-foot-high wire-rope guard rail will be installed down the middle of the median between the two sides of traffic. Badger described this as a newer type of barrier that is more flexible than typical guard rails and “a lot cheaper to replace.”
       Also this week... Structural work will begin at the bridge over Ellston Street to accommodate the greater width of the interstate. Ellston spurs off Sinton Road east of I-25, goes under the interstate and into Chestnut Street by the Loaf & Jug store.
       This upgrade, including additional columns, piers and girders and eventually new bridge decking, will continue into next year, Badger said.
       There will be no changes in the number of lanes (two) for Ellston itself. Drivers will be able to go over and under the bridge during the expansion, he said.

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