Funds Approved for I-25/Ilex Street Bridge

April 6, 2011 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - DENVER - The Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) Board of Directors recently approved a bond delivery plan and program goals for the design, repair and/or replacement of 63 of the state’s worst bridges.

Two of those bridges are on northbound and southbound Interstate 25 over Ilex Street in Pueblo.

Both structures were built in 1959 and are rated as structurally deficient.  Although construction is not expected to begin until 2013, the CBE is providing $10 million for the purchase of right-of-way and preliminary design work.   The total cost to construct the bridges is estimated at $39 million.

“I’m glad we’re able to secure some initial funding for the Ilex Street Bridges,” said Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Regional Director Tim Harris.  “This is a key access point to and from I-25 for area businesses and the Runyon complex so we’re to the point where upgrading the interstate in that area is required to enhance safety.”

The new structure will be built to accommodate three lanes in each direction but will remain in a two-lane configuration until I-25 is widened through Pueblo. However, before any highway expansion can occur, a Record of Decision (ROD) needs to be issued as part of the New Pueblo Freeway Environmental Impact Statement.  The ROD is expected in the late summer or early fall of 2012.

“After the ROD is signed, we can begin working to secure funding to widen I-25,” added Harris, “but this action by the CBE allows us to begin some initial improvements that’ll be beneficial in the long term.”

The statewide Bridge Enterprise was created by Senate Bill 09-108.  The Bridge Enterprise is a government-owned business entity within CDOT.  The purpose of Bridge Enterprise is to complete designated bridge projects that involve the financing, repair, reconstruction and replacement of bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor” by CDOT.