New Bijou bridge rising from rubble of old
The old Bijou Street bridge is down. Long live the new Bijou bridge.
In warming weather, through the efforts of 200 to 250 workers and a vast array of heavy equipment, the replacement span at I-25 has been rising from the ground the last couple of weeks.
By the end of the month, traffic may be back in its old path under a bridge at Bijou, although the new unit won't be open to traffic until October, according to Bill Badger of project contractor Rockrimmon Con-structors.
I-25 traffic since January has been using a temporary “mini-bypass” that Rockrimmon built just west of the busy bridge construction zone. During a tour of the work area this week, Badger reiterated that the bypass has made the bridge work easier by allowing four lanes of traffic to continue unimpeded while crews have been able to demolish the old bridge, start building the new one and pour concrete for the new traffic lanes.
However, the bypass will no longer be needed once the girders are in place and the necessary concrete poured for the new bridge deck. In fact, the bypass will be torn out shortly thereafter to make room for the new I-25 southbound off- and on-ramps, he explained.
The bridge and I-25 lanes will be almost exactly where they were before, with the difference being a wider, more decorative bridge and three interstate lanes each way instead of two. The third lane will not be available initially; according to Badger, the space will be needed for contractor “construction actvities and access” until October.
Westside Pioneer article