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Mostly minimal traffic impacts seen in Fillmore, Cimarron interchange projects

Crews from SEMA Construction prepare the abutments for the new south bridge at Fillmore/I-25. Part of the current bridge, from which the photo was taken, can be seen in the lower right corner.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Simultaneous work is continuing on separate replacement projects for the half-century-old Fillmore and the Cimarron interchanges with I-25.
       However, other than overnight work and girder-laying closing the Fillmore bridge to traffic July 9 and 12, no major traffic impacts are foreseen soon on either project.
       The $15.1 million Fillmore project, having started in February, is farther along, with the most recent work involving the laying of the 110-foot-long girders on the abutments for the new south bridge.
       Through July and into August, the bridge deck will be installed over the girders. Contractor SEMA Construction hopes to have the span ready for traffic by late August or sooner, according to Ted Tjerandsen of Wilson & Company, project consultant for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
       Ultimately, the new south bridge will carry westbound traffic as part of the unique diverging diamond interchange design. However, at least temporarily, when the south bridge opens it will handle the eastbound traffic while the old structure carries westbound, Tjerandsen said.
       Meanwhile, work will begin on the north bridge, with plans for a similar construction scenario, come fall. That process will have the added ingredient of a two-phase demolition of the old structure.
       Completion of the entire new interchange - along with extended and/or upgraded ramps and freeway access/egress points - is anticipated by June 2016.
       The diverging diamond design - in which traffic on Fillmore will cross to opposite sides using stoplights at either end of the interchange - was chosen for both cost and safety reasons, CDOT officials have said.
       Minimal driving impacts are foreseen during the construction of the Cimarron/I-25 interchange - including virtually none for roughly the first year of the project.
       “There will be no super-extended closures,” a project spokesperson said. “We'll have some overnight, but not too many of those.”
       Overseen by CDOT, the $113 million project started in April and is slated for completion in December 2017.
       Additional work will include realigning I-25 to the west - about 80 feet at the interchange itself - to lessen the current curve between it and the Tejon/I-25 interchange.
       It is this realignment that makes much of the friendly traffic scenario possible, based on information presented at the May project open house. The southbound side can be built just to the west while the old bridges are still being used. After that, for several months from 2016 into 2017, both directions will use the new southbound segment while the northbound side gets built.
       A similar strategy will be used for Cimarron (which is also Highway 24) going under the interstate. A slightly different alignment - related to having the interstate and Cimarron intersect in a more perpendicular fashion - will allow early, offline work on at least part of the new street. The anticipated result, according to Mark Olsen, project manager for the contractor team, Kraemer/TSH, is the avoidance of any full closures of Cimarron during the project.
       The activity this summer, occurring overnight, consists of occasional shoulder or lane closures to allow “soil investigation drilling and design survey work,” a CDOT press release states.

Westside Pioneer article