CDOT set to demolish “Eyesore” next week

November 21, 2014 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - Colorado Springs – The long awaited demolition of the old Express Inn at U.S. 24 and 8th Street marks the end of a local eyesore and preparation for next year’s reconstruction of the Interstate 25/Cimarron Interchange.

Demolition of the long-vacant motel is scheduled to begin on Monday, November 24, at 10 a.m.  “Utility relocation, asbestos removal and other site preparations have now been completed in preparation for demolition,” said Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) Resident Engineer Dave Watt.

“As exciting as it would be to implode the old building, it won’t be that dramatic,” added Watt. “The process is more of a piece-by-piece dismantling of the building over several weeks. None-the-less, this is something we’ve been working toward for a long time and we know the community will not be sorry to see it go.”

Watt stressed the demolition work is not part of, or the start of, any transportation improvements at the U.S. 24/8th Street intersection. It also is not the official start of the I-25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build Project. “But,” Watt said, “it does prepare the site to likely be used as an equipment staging area once the interchange reconstruction begins next year.”

The Express Inn closed in May 2011 after it was temporarily used by a local nonprofit to rent rooms to low income and homeless people. CDOT purchased the property for future highway improvements and it has been vacant ever since, its windows and doors boarded and the property surrounded by a security fence. The building has deteriorated and become an eyesore with some homeless people continuing to live on site despite its closure.

Individuals at the site have been asked to leave, and the contractor has created a fenced work zone area where the demolition will occur. For safety reasons, the public is asked to stay clear of the work zone throughout the demolition process.

NOTE TO MEDIA: You’re invited to join CDOT, El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, City Council President Keith King, and city representatives for the ceremonial “first swing of the sledgehammer” to mark the start of demolition.  Hard hats and other safety equipment will be required and provided, if necessary, to be on-site.