At least itís there
Bijou bridge to open with limited lanes Oct. 1
It won't have all its lanes, its architectural railings or landscaping, but the new Bijou bridge and all four ramps will be open as promised Monday, Oct. 1.
COSMIX contractor Rockrimmon Constructors was finalizing details for the opening this week, cautioning that the bridge may not be ready for morning rush-hour traffic Oct. 1, but should be open at least by late morning, Rockrimmon spokesman Kyle Troxel said.
With the side work continuing through October, only three of the bridge's six lanes will be open then. In the morning, because more people will be going downtown, there will be two lanes eastbound and one lane westbound. For the evening rush hour, that layout will be reversed, Troxel said.
A pedestrian route across the bridge will also be maintained on one side of the bridge or the other, he added.
No ribbon-cutting is planned for now, although the downtown merchants plan to celebrate the long-awaited opening in Acacia Park at 11 a.m. Oct. 1.
Some type of ceremony is anticipated around Oct. 31, when all the bridge's lanes are to be open and the last of the beautification completed, explained Kiley Wiedeman of PRACO, which handles public relations for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
Just west of the bridge, work was also continuing this week on the small park by the southbound off-ramp and the new parking area for the Department of Human Services by the southbound on-ramp. A sign facing the southbound off-ramp, telling motorists that Old Colorado City is to the right, is also due for installation.
Work is also continuing on the nearby Colorado Avenue overpass, with the planned expansion to six lanes on the interstate and a return to four lanes on the avenue not expected to occur until mid-November.
Demolition of the old Bijou bridge started in early January. CDOT and Rockrimmon Constructors set Oct. 1 for the opening of the new bridge, with severe fines set to kick in if the date was missed.
During construction, CDOT and Rockrimmon had created a southbound off-ramp and detour at Bijou, chiefly to accommodate motorists going downtown.
COSMIX is the name for the 12-mile, $150 million I-25 widening project through central Colorado Springs that is due for overall completion by Dec. 31.
Westside Pioneer article