Event Marks Opening of “New” I-25 through Trinidad

February 4, 2011 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - Southbound viaduct set to open.

TRINIDAD — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the City of Trinidad celebrated the opening of southbound Interstate 25 through Trinidad at a ribbon cutting ceremony today, commemorating the highway’s reconstruction and the completion of other related infrastructure improvements through the city.

“It’s been a long wait so we’re really excited about getting it opened to traffic,” said Trinidad Mayor Jennie Garduno.  “With the increased mobility of society, opening the new I-25 will enhance Trinidad’s opportunities to promote tourism and bring commerce to our downtown businesses.”

The I-25 Trinidad Project was constructed in three phases:

  • Phase One – Reconstructed and extended State Highway 12 from I-25 to Main Street.  It included construction of a new bridge over the Purgatoire River.  The new extension provides a safe connection between SH 12 and I-25 via the Main Street Interchange.  Work began in September 2003, and completed in August 2004.
  • Phase Two Northbound – Reconstructed 1.1 miles of northbound I-25, from Van Buren Drive to Commercial Street.  It also reconfigured the Main Street and Commercial Street interchanges, replaced the northbound viaduct and structures at Main Street and the Purgatoire River.  Additionally, a water quality detention pond was constructed and improvements were made to Purgatoire River Park.  Work began in February 2007, and completed in September 2009.
  • Phase Two SouthboundReconstructed 1.1 miles of southbound I-25, from just north of Commercial Street to just north of Van Buren Drive, including construction of a new viaduct and the mainline bridges over the Purgatoire River and Main Street.  A new on-ramp also was built at Commercial Street, off and on-ramps reconstructed at Main Street, and the southbound exit ramp was removed at Van Buren Drive.  Work began in September 2009.

Some additional work remains on the southbound viaduct, with one lane expected to open to traffic within the next few days.  Northbound and southbound traffic will remain in a one-lane configuration (one lane on each viaduct) through the spring while finishing work continues, including final paving, lighting, landscaping, and structure and wall painting.

“Reconstructing I-25 has accomplished our goal of improving safety and enhancing traffic flow through Trinidad,” said CDOT’s Chief Engineer Pam Hutton.  “The new I-25 also is providing much better access for the city’s residents and visitors, as well as adding aesthetic and architectural details that enhances and compliments the historic downtown.”

The $85.7 million project included $7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  That portion funded construction of the Purgatoire River Pedestrian Trail, new sidewalks, curbs and gutters, drainage inlets, landscaping, and new street lights.

“Outreach by CDOT’s Equal Employment Office also provided opportunities to local citizens and businesses to participate in the reconstruction of I-25,” added Hutton, “so we’re very pleased this project enhanced the economy in Trinidad and Las Animas County.”

The prime contractor is Lawrence Construction Company of Littleton, Colo.  Felsburg, Holt and Ullevig of Centennial, Colo. was the lead designer, and THS Engineering of Greenwood Village, Colo., designed several of the bridges, ramps and viaducts.


Other Project Particulars:

Four-lane highway originally built through Trinidad in 1955 and widened in 1959 as part of the interstate system.  It replaced the original U.S. 85/87 through Trinidad.

The largest aspect of the reconstruction was the replacement of the 1921-foot northbound viaduct and 2067-foot southbound viaduct, crossing State Highway 12, the mainline of the BNSF Railway and Commercial Street.  The new northbound structure is slightly longer – 2026 feet; the southbound structure slightly shorter at 2058 feet.  Both are seven to 11 feet taller than the original structures.  Four other new structures also were built: the bridges over Main Street and the Purgatoire River and the Main Street on-ramp and Commercial Street off-ramp.

Trinidad also received a number of infrastructure improvements from the project, including new waterlines, a new sanitary sewer and a new storm sewer in the Commercial Street area.

Concrete – Used approximately 30,000 cubic yards of structural concrete (not including concrete paving).

Reinforcing Steel – Used approximately 6.2-million pounds in the structures.

Trees & Bushes – over 3,500 will be planted.

Dry Stream was installed under the viaduct within the parking lot, which treats a portion of the viaduct’s storm-water runoff, prior to emptying into the Purgatoire River.