CDOT’s COSMIX contractor to start design for new Cimarron bridge

       Plans for the Cimarron-Conejos bridge replacement became clearer at a meeting of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) board Sept. 13.
       Colorado Springs engineers have worked out an arrangement with Rockrimmon Constructors to design the new bridge up to a 30 percent level by the end of this year. At that point, the proposal will go back to elected officials (on City Council and the RTA) to decide if Rockrimmon should be given the contract to complete the job as a design-build project, according to Rob Kidder, city senior civil engineer.
       Kidder told the board that Rockrimmon Constructors is a logical choice because it is the contractor for the I-25 COSMIX widening project and is already working in the area (on the roughly simultaneous Bijou bridge replacement and Colorado Avenue bridge widening).
       At City Council's direction (during its Aug. 21 meeting), engineers have been working on a “fast track” for Cimarron that allows leeway in terms of public comment, typical bid processes and design considerations.
       “This gets it done much quicker,” commented City Council member/RTA board member alternate Scott Hente.
       The current bridge, a 48-year-old structure that spans Conejos Street and the railroad tracks just east of I-25, is a main Westside route to the downtown and I-25. It has been reduced to two lanes because of recently discovered deterioration on its south (eastbound traffic) side.
       Tentative plans call for keeping two lanes open during the work by replacing the bridge one side at a time - eastbound first (by June '07) and then the westbound (by December '07), Kidder said.
       The board voted to lend $2 million from another, as yet unstarted RTA project to let the effort as Kidder defined it get going.
       The new bridge, an “A-list” RTA project that had been scheduled for 2009, is expected to cost $7-8 million. It was budgeted at about $5 million, but will cost more because of the need to keep lanes open during construction, Kidder said.

Westside Pioneer article