Bridge work spurs free parking March 10

       Shoppers in Old Colorado City and the downtown will get free on-street parking Saturday, March 10.
       The goal is to “provide some measure of relief” to shoppers as well as businesses in those areas as a result of the Cimarron bridge over Conejos Street being closed for demolition work that weekend, City Engineer Cam McNair explained at a meeting of the Colorado Springs City Council Feb. 27.
       At the request of McNair and City Manager Lorne Kramer, council passed a resolution approving the request.
       To be certain that shoppers know about the free parking March 10, council member Jerry Heimlicher asked that the city bag the meters or mark them in some way. City Parking Administrator Greg Warnke said this would be done.
       According to McNair, the bridge will be closed both ways from evening March 9 to early morning March 12 to allow the removal of bridge girders.
       Cimarron is also Highway 24, which was averaging 30,000 vehicles a day, according to Engineering, before the bridge's south side was closed for safety reasons last August, reducing traffic to two lanes on the north side.
       The first steps of the south-side demolition process by a Rockrimmon Constructors contractor are already underway. “They're working under the bridge this week,” McNair told council. “Some of the (south side's) deck removal will occur next week, then there will be the girder removal that weekend (March 9-12).”

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