Citizens seem to favor Cimarron bridge ‘all at once’ plan

       City Council had asked for citizen feedback on the Cimarron bridge replacement plan, and at press time a clear majority seems to be in favor of doing it all at once.
       These included six citizens who responded to City Council member Jerry Heimlicher's request (published in the Aug. 16 Westside Pioneer) for people to call him with their thoughts. All agreed with his proposal to shut down the bridge completely so work could occur quicker and cheaper than a project in which it remain partially open… even though a shutdown would extend a period of east-west traffic woes that started with the Bijou bridge shutdown in January as part of the COSMIX I-25 widening project.
       The issue will be discussed again at the Aug. 27 informal council meeting, starting at 1 p.m. Other council members did not oppose Heimlicher's idea at the Aug. 13 council meeting - however, they did agree that citizens and business people should be consulted.
       The Downtown Partnership, which represents downtown retailers, has come out in favor of the all-at-once idea, but would prefer that the work start after the December holiday season, according to Mary Scott of City Public Communications.
       The city also has been collecting responses on the issue from a survey that was posted on line through Aug. 22. As of early Aug. 22, most of these had been in favor, Scott said.
       Under the all-at-once plan, work would wait until COSMIX completes the new Bijou bridge and I-25 overpass at Colorado Avenue, so that those arteries would be open during the Cimarron bridge replacement work. Heimlicher had proposed an October-to-March construction time frame, so as to have the least detrimental effect on tourism.
       As part of his personal survey effort, Heimlicher allowed his cell phone number to be printed in the Pioneer. “The first person to call me said, 'I can't believe you put your phone number in the paper,'” Heimlicher said. After he responded that it was a way to reach people, “She said I think that's amazing,” he reported.

Westside Pioneer article