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Cimarron/I25 interchange project busy with workers, equipment in several locations

Large grading and compacting machinery works into the evening west of I-25 (and just east of the Humane Society property off Abbott Lane), shaping the area for the future southbound on-ramp.
Westside Pioneer photo
Multiple activities are occurring in different areas around the Cimarron/I-25 interchange as work continues on the $113 million project to replace it.
       The contractor team, Kraemer/TSH, is currently working on what it has termed “Phase 0” (which continues through March). Started in April, the overall interchange project is due for completion by December 2017 and will also include replacements of the on/off-ramps.
       Here are summations of the current work, based on a recent tour of the site with Lesley Mace, project manager with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), along with a follow-up e-mail from her providing more detail.
       - Hauling in the southwest area: Fill dirt is being brought in, raising the ground level for the construction of the new southbound on-ramp. A related traffic impact is the closure of the southbound I-25 shoulder during overnight work between Cimarron and the Tejon Street exit Sundays to Thursdays through October.
       - Bear Creek box construction: The box culvert under I-25 is being extended to
A field of wick drains is helping dewater the area just northwest of Cimarron/I-25 (seen in background), which has a high water table. When that's brought under control, large amounts of fill will be brought in for the new southbound off-ramp.
Westside Pioneer photo
accommodate the interchange's greater width, including the future southbound on-ramp.
       - Utility work: Various utility relocations are occurring around the site. Sanitary sewer and water lines are being relocated in the northwest quadrant, and electrical lines are being relocated in the southwest quadrant.
       - Drainage work: Final work is occurring on a 60-inch-wide reinforced concrete pipe under I-25 just south of the Cimarron ramp exit.
       - Temporary bridge: A temporary bridge has been installed at the northwest corner and will be used to haul dirt to that area. The hauling will begin once the utilities have been completed. The bridge will also have life as the temporary southbound off ramp in early 2016. Once the new permanent bridge is constructed and open to traffic, the temporary bridge will be disassembled and reconstructed as a temporary bridge at the northbound on ramp.
       - Wick drains: Wick drains have been installed along the northwest quadrant to help reduce the time needed for the new fill to settle. According to industry websites, wick drains provide artificial drainage means to speed up the removal of water from wet soils. Another term that's used is "dewatering."
       - Water quality: Also in the northwest area is an on-site operation that treats water that's pumped from the ground until it reaches a sufficient quality that it can be released into the creek. The operation is run by the Baker Corporation, a subcontractor to Kraemer/TSH.
       - Fountain Creek: Vegetation has been removed along Fountain Creek to allow the creek to be widened. The cross-section will look similar to the section upstream from Eighth Street, (which was reworked as part of an upgrade project about five years ago involving CDOT, the Gold Hill Mesa development and the Stormwater Enterprise which
A small water-quality facility has been set up in the field, northwest of Cimarron-I-25, to treat water pumped from the ground so it can be released into the creek and meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Westside Pioneer photo
then existed under the City of Colorado Springs).
       - Trails: Detours remain in place near the interchange for the Midland, Bear Creek and Greenway trails, which are all getting improvements.
       - Shortcut road: Regarding the construction of the so-called “shortcut” road between Highway 24 and the commercial center south of Cimarron and Eighth, Mace said that is tentatively planned for completion by fall 2016. An earlier schedule had suggested summer 2016.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 10/5/15; Transportation: Cimarron/I-25)

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