State to keep Fillmore bridge open during interchange project

       The Fillmore/I-25 interchange will remain open to traffic during the replacement project that's slated to start in the spring.

An aerial-view rendering displays the new diverging diamond interchange for Fillmore and I-25. The arrows on the bridges show how the through lanes move to the left on each bridge to avoid left-turn stoplights at the interstate on-ramps. The darker gray shows where other work will be done, including the new ramp layout. Note: The space between the two bridges will actually be open (the rendering is unclear on that.) Also, the aerial photo is dated, not showing the new Chestnut Street alignment farther west of the interchange.
Courtesy of Don Garcia and the Colorado Department of Transportation

       According to Don Garcia, project manager with the Colorado Department of Transport-ation (CDOT), the old bridge will be torn down one side at a time, probably starting with the south side. So while that work is going on, traffic in both directions will be relocated to the north side, he explained last week. When the south side is done, traffic will be redirected there while the north demolition and reconstruction takes place.
       When the Bijou/I-25 bridge was replaced in 2007, it was closed to traffic for over half a year, requiring detours. The downtown business owners had preferred that, because there were nearby bridges and a full shutdown made construction time faster. But with Fillmore, “there aren't any real good routes to get up the hill,” Garcia said. “It's a little different.”
       Garcia had revealed the basic Fillmore plans to a meeting of the Mesa Springs Community Association this month (as reported in the Westside Pioneer Oct. 10), and a vote by the State Transportation Commission made the $11 million allocation official Oct. 17.
       In the plans that are taking shape, CDOT will advertise for construction bids in February, with the interchange's groundbreaking “probably in April,” Garcia said. Construction is expected to take 14 to 16 months.
       The Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority project occurring now, just west of the interchange, is scheduled for completion by December.
       The Fillmore/I-25 project will be one of the first in Colorado to use the relatively new diverging diamond interchange, meaning that on the bridge people will feel like they're driving in England. This will avoid left-turn signals at on-ramps, engineers have explained.
       Also confirmed Oct. 17 was the Oct. 10 Pioneer report of state funding for a new Cimmaron/I-25 interchange. The start of its construction is foreseen in about a year and a half, state officials have predicted.

Westside Pioneer article