Westside Pioneer Home Page

In the air and on its way to being set is the 14th of 18 girders that were placed for the new I-25 bridge over Cimarron Street/Highway 24 the nights of April 5 and 6. This particular girder was set at about 12:30 a.m. on April 7. (Note: All the photos on this page were shot between about 11:30 p.m. April 6 and 12:45 a.m. April 7.)
Westside Pioneer photo

Newly placed girders define eventual width of new Cimarron/I-25 bridge

      
Aided by the man below, a Kraemer North America worker attaches a sling to the top of a girder, one of two which will allow it to be lifted into place by the cranes.
Westside Pioneer photo
The nights of April 5 and 6 brought another milestone for the Cimarron/I-25 interchange project, with the placement of the last 18 girders for the interstate bridge over Cimarron.
       With large, portable light towers providing illumination and dozens of Kraemer North America workers on hand, two telescoping cranes combined to lift girders up to 154 feet long into their permanent positions.
       By July, based on the Kraemer schedule, the girders will have been concreted in and readied to handle thousands of cars a day. The effect, according to previously provided project information, will be to roughly double the width of the new interstate bridge to its final width of just over 150 feet.
       The first half - an 80-foot-wide segment that's temporarily being used by both directions of traffic - was completed in October just west of the new part of the span. It required 30 girders, which were lifted into place last July.
       The April 5-6 girder work occurred between about 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. both nights, requiring the full closure of Cimarron Street/Highway 24 under the bridge and the reduction of I-25 northbound from three lanes to one.
       One of the cranes sat on the interstate and the other below (on Cimarron). Transported from Denver, each girder was delivered to the site by a semi-tractor/trailer. One girder at a time, workers would attach an apparatus with heavy-duty nylon slings, one at either end. Then the cranes - with the operators communicating by radio - would lift the girder in tandem.
       According to Don Garcia, deputy project manager with CDOT consultant Wilson & Company, the 18 girders varied from 75 to 154 feet long and weighed 45 to 90 tons.
       Each was custom-made. The size difference was due to I-25 going over Cimarron at an angle, Garcia explained.
       The $113 million Cimarron/I-25 project as a whole is due for completion by the end of this year.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/7/17; Transportation: Cimarron/I-25)

A nighttime view from the first half of the new bridge (opened in October) looks across the recently placed girders for the second half, just to the east. The slings from the two cranes that put it there are still attached. In the background at far right is one of the semi-tractors that hauled a girder to the project site. The vehicle is parked in a northbound traffic lane, which was closed for the occasion. In the background at left is the city's Drake power plant.
Westside Pioneer photo
As a worker watches from below, a semi-tractor/trailer hauling a girder - which is well over 100 feet in length - pulls into position on the bridge over Cimarron Street. Cranes would later lift the girder from the trailer and into its assigned place.
Westside Pioneer photo
LEFT: Kraemer North America workers are seen in the temporary catacomb of new girders. RIGHT: A worker assigned to a pier on which one end of the girder will rest uses hand signals to help the crane operators make slight directional adjustments to maneuver the unit into the right spot.
Westside Pioneer photos
With Cimarron Street closed except for the northbound off-ramp (left) and southbound on-ramp (right), this was the eerie view looking east toward the interchange at about 11:30 p.m. April 6. Adding to the effect are the the two telescoping cranes rising into the night sky.
Westside Pioneer photo

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)