I-25/U.S. 24 Interchange Design-Build moving Forward

October 29, 2013 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - COLORADO SPRINGS – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is taking the initial steps for the reconstruction of the Interstate 25/U.S. 24-Cimarron St. Interchange following the Colorado Transportation Commission’s recent approval of RAMP funding (Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships) for the project.

RAMP is comprised of 44 partnership projects, totaling $580 million, to maximize and expand the statewide transportation system.  It was created in December 2012 as a new approach to budgeting and planning to accelerate the completion of much-needed transportation projects.

“CDOT has implemented a series of construction projects over the last decade to improve the capacity and safety of I-25 through El Paso County.  This reconstruction will continue those improvements,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Dave Watt.  “The combination of RAMP and other CDOT funding, along with local funding from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County makes this $95 million project truly a collaborative effort.”

Funding sources for the three phase project includes $24 million from RAMP, $6 million from local sources ($5 million Colorado Springs; $1 million El Paso County); $12.3 million from current and future bridge funding, $16 million FASTER Safety, and $6 million from accumulated savings from other projects.  The remaining monies will be acquired from other current and future funding sources.

The interchange is a key junction point since it connects I-25 to U.S. 24, the primary east-west highway through Colorado Springs and the only major route into the Rocky Mountains for nearly 50 miles north and south of the city.  A lack of routes in and out of the mountains results in congestion for regional commuters and destination traffic.

Project limits on U.S. 24 are between Eighth Street and the Union Pacific-BNSF railroads joint line/Cimarron Street Bridge, and on I-25 between Colorado Avenue and South Nevada Avenue.

The project will provide the following:

  • Improved and extended acceleration/deceleration lanes, increasing vehicle capacity and safety on the northbound & southbound I-25 off-ramps, wider shoulders and upgraded curbs
  • New I-25 bridge structures
  • Enhanced interstate and interchange traffic flow and safety operations
  • Better trail connections
  • Improved water quality
  • Aesthetic enhancements

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2015, with project completion scheduled for late 2017

The team of CDOT, Wilson & Co. and Parsons Brinckerhoff is managing the project and in the process of developing the construction Request-for-Proposals.  A short list of contractor teams will be pre-qualified first, followed by the selection of a contractor team that delivers “Best Value.”

A two-step, design-build (D-B) process is being utilized.  D-B is a method of project delivery where the design and construction phases of a project are combined into one contract.  The process is effective since it:

  • enables maximized improvements
  • expedites project delivery by accelerating the construction schedule
  • recognizes contractor innovation
  • efficiently manages existing resources

The expansion of I-25 through Colorado Springs – COSMIX – utilized D-B.  Design-bid-build is the traditional approach for highway construction.

“Interacting and communicating with stakeholders and the public will be taking place throughout the procurement and the design/construction process,” added Watt. “In addition, CDOT will be doing all it can to minimize the project’s environmental and economic impacts.”