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Interchange work: overnight closures (Fillmore), Bear Creek Trail reopens (Cimarron)

       Walls are being built at Cimarron/I-25 and a trail connection just reopened, while at Fillmore/I-25 another bridge is on the way.
       The simultaneous interchange projects remain on schedule, with mostly minimal impacts on traffic.
       Scheduled exceptions (all at Fillmore and all overnight) are below (note that these dates reflect weather-related delays from the dates orginally announced) :
       - Dec. 1 and 2- a full closure of both I-25 and Fillmore Street at the interchange to allow the placement of girders by the contractor, SEMA Construction, for the new north bridge. This calls for giant cranes, positioned either on the old bridge (next to the new bridge) or on the interstate.
       The closures (first for Fillmore, then the interstate) will start at about 8 p.m. and continue through 5 a.m., according to Ted Tjerandsen of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
The completion of a widened culvert allowed the Bear Creek Trail to reopen under I-25 Nov. 20, but finish work in that area will continue for several weeks by workers for the Cimarron/I-25 contractor, Kraemer North America. The concrete wall under the interstate at right separates the trail from Bear Creek. The photo was taken from the west side of the culvert, looking east. The trail west from this point goes past the south side of the Wal- mart on Eighth Street.
Westside Pioneer photo
Through traffic on the interstate can continue by using the off-/on-ramps.
       - Dec. 3 and 7 - installation of deck panels on the new bridge. Following about the same time frame as above, the work will require a closure of westbound Fillmore Street at the bridge, which will be used as a staging area. The interstate will not be closed, but traffic will be restricted to one lane each way, Tjerandsen said.
       He added that any winter storm could cause schedule delays. Also, crews must work around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. As a result, planning project dates this time of year is “like a jigsaw puzzle - calendar- and weather-dependent,” Tjerandsen said.
       The Cimarron walls - technically called “soil nail walls” - are fortifying the steep dirt banks on the west side of the existing interstate in conjunction with fill dirt being brought in by the contractor, Kraemer North America, to shape the new southbound off-ramp in that area. According to Lesley Mace of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), this operation is likely to continue into January.
       A recent Cimarron milestone is the Nov. 20 reopening of the Bear Creek Trail under I-25 (just south of the Wal-mart off Eighth Street) after three months. The work extended the trail's culvert about 70 feet to the west, accommodating the greater width that the interstate will have south of the new (also wider) Cimarron interchange.
       On the east side of I-25, the trail connects with the north-south Greenway Trail. Going west, it follows Bear Creek up to the Nature Center.
       Improvements in conjunction with the trail culvert widening include relocated overhead power and fiber optic lines, a broadened embankment (also related to the new interstate width) and a widened drainage culvert for Bear Creek paralleling the trail under I-25.
       Because finish work will be continuing into late December around the west side of the new trail access, “trail users are encouraged to use extreme caution while traveling on the trail through the culvert,” a CDOT press release states.
       Other work at Cimarron over the next several weeks will include widening Fountain Creek to approximately 80 feet within the project area (between Monument Creek and Eighth Street - similar to its channel between 8th and 21st streets) and beginning construction of the Highway 24 eastbound bridge over the creek.
       At Fillmore, traffic is temporarily using both the new south bridge (for eastbound cars) and a slimmer version of the original (roughly 1960) bridge (westbound). Using a combination of saws and heavy equipment, roughly half of the 1960 span (lengthwise) was cut away in September to make room for the new north bridge. When it opens (possibly not till spring), the remainder of the old bridge will be demolished, Tjerandsen said.
       The Cimarron interchange is due for completion by December 2017, Fillmore by the summer of 2016.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 11/20/15, updated 11/30/15; Transportation: Cimarron/I-25)

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