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Upgrade of avenue's I-25 overpass to affect merge lanes till late October

      
In a barricaded area between the two directions of I-25 traffic, a Kraemer North America crew works on the Colorado Avenue overpass. The bridge-rehabilitation project is not expected to affect through traffic, but to make room the continuous auxiliary lanes on either side will temporarily be made into merge lanes. Photo looks west.
Westside Pioneer photo
A broader I-25 overpass above Colorado Avenue was part of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) COSMIX interstate-widening project through the city in 2005-2007.
       But CDOT has since identified $1 million in needed improvements for the decade-old span. Described in a CDOT press release as a “rehabilitation,” the upgrade work started in late June and is scheduled to continue through late October.
       Three lanes will remain open each way, “but the continuous auxiliary lanes onto northbound I-25 from Cimarron Street to the Bijou Street exit, and onto southbound I-25 from Bijou Street to the Cimarron Street/US 24 exit, will be changed to merge lanes with short merge distances to accommodate room for crews to work,” a CDOT press release explains. “The posted speed limit will be reduced to 45 miles per hour.”
       The project will not affect traffic on the avenue below, a CDOT spokesperson said, in response to a question.
       According to Dave Watt, CDOT's resident engineer for the Colorado Springs area, the work is being handled by Kraemer North America, the contractor for the nearby Cimarron/I-25 interchange replacement, with the cost being absorbed into that project's $113 million budget.
       The main purpose is to make driving over the bridge “less bumpy,” Watt said.
       CDOT wanted the avenue overpass work to be part of Cimarron/I-25 when that project was bid out in 2014. “Due to funding constraints,” it had to be removed from the scope of the Kraemer contract, but thanks to the “effective management” of the Cimarron/I-25 project, the upgrades are now affordable, the release states.
       Doing the work now ”will eliminate the need for CDOT to have a separate contractor come out and do the work after the interchange construction is complete,” the release notes.
       Regarding the upgrades themselves, “the work will correct a settlement issue in both traffic directions,” the press release continues, adding that “other elements of the work include removing expansion joint devices and replacing with plug joints, performing concrete surface grinding, modifying existing drains and inlets and applying a waterproofing membrane and asphalt overlay.”
       The waterproofing refers to a “relatively new” capability that will protect the otherwise-bare concrete of the bridge deck and extend its longevity, Watt said.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/8/17; Transportation: Cimarron/I-25)

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