Do not open ‘til long after Christmas
New I-25 lanes need warm nights for final paving to allow use

       Rockrimmon Construc-tors and the Colorado Department of Transpor-tation (CDOT) have a “present” for the driving public, but it's one that can't be opened until after Christmas. Actually, way after Christmas.
       Following 4 ½ months of work, I-25 now has a third lane each way between Fillmore Street and Garden of the Gods Road, but drivers won't get to use them until late spring, according to Bill Badger of Rockrimmon Constructors, which is the contractor for the state project.
       The reason is weather-related. A final top layer of asphalt is required for the two new and four old lanes, and April is the earliest that nighttime temperatures can be expected to rise to the necessary 50 degrees or warmer, he explained.
       The work cannot take place in the daytime because project requirements state that lanes can only be closed at night, except in emergencies or special circumstances.
       So until then, the new lanes, which were added in the median area, will remain closed off by concrete barriers, Badger said.
       Some of the last parts of the interstate work in the Fillmore-Garden of the Gods segment have focused on the I-25 bridge over Ellston Street. Work had been necessary to widen the existing span and shore it up. This affected traffic underneath, where flaggers have been a regular sight on Ellston since mid-July, and on top, where I-25 traffic had to be realigned twice to allow work to occur on the bridge deck. According to Badger, traffic should be switched back to the original lanes this week.
       Nearly complete are the noise walls in front of the Holland Park neighborhood from Ellston Street up to Colo-rado Tech-nical Univer-sity. Badger said the walls have been successfully installed and painted, and the short hillsides on which they stand have been contoured. However, he added, the walls still require “some adjustments” and hillside reseeding.
       Noise walls still need to be built on the east side of the interstate north of Fillmore, in front of the Holiday Village mobile home park. This is expected to occur in late spring or summer. The state is working out certain “right of way issues” in that area, Badger said.
       The Fillmore-Garden of the Gods segment is part of a $150-million I-25 widening project - nicknamed COSMIX - that will eventually include the replacement of the Bijou Street and North Nevada Avenue/ Rockrimmon Boulevard interchanges and a 12-mile interstate widening from South Circle Drive to North Academy Boulevard.

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