Start of Cimarron bridge work remains on schedule

       Plans are still in place to start the Cimarron bridge project the night of Wednesday, Oct. 31.
       City Engineer Cam McNair said this week the work could begin as early as 9 o'clock that night.
       The segment of Cimarron Street between I-25 and Sierra Madre Street will be closed for a project to tear down and replace the bridge over Conejos Street and the railroad tracks. The new span will be wider and more ornamental. It is due to open with four lanes in mid-May. The contractor is Lawrence Construction.
       All the ramps at the Cimarron/I-25 interchange will remain functional. To get past the interstate going east-west, drivers can use the Colorado Avenue underpass or the new Bijou Street bridge - both of which are scheduled to be at full capacity Nov. 1.
       However, nighttime motorists on Colorado Avenue will need to be on the alert for occasional shutoffs or one-lane conditions during November, cautioned Kyle Troxel of Rockrimmon Constructors, the I-25 COSMIX contractor. This is necessary for work to continue on the Colorado Avenue bridge over the avenue, he said.
       The city recently released updated cost numbers for the Cimarron bridge project. The overall budget, covered by Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) funds, is $8.57 million. The project budget had been announced earlier this year as $8 million, but this has been increased chiefly because of inflation, according to Mary Scott of City Public Communications.
       The city/RTA had also previously stated that $2 million of the budget had already been spent on the project (chiefly for demolition of the south half of the bridge last spring and for the bridge design), but that had been an estimate. In terms of actual money, the total spent to date has been $1.17 million. However, with anticipated additional costs - primarily $400,000 to accommodate railroad impacts - the total non-contract bill will probably be close to $2 million by project's end, Scott said.
       That amount, plus the $5.9 million contract with Lawrence, will be covered by the $8.57 million budget.

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