I-25/Cimarron Interchange Exceeds Expectation

Oct. 26, 2017 - Ribbon cutting signifies operational completion

On Thursday, Oct. 26, CDOT and Kraemer North America hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at America The Beautiful Park to celebrate the completion of the I-25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build project—the second largest transportation project in Colorado Springs' history, behind COSMIX.

Karen Rowe, Transportation Director of CDOT's Southeast Colorado region, welcomed guests and recognized the numerous agencies, staff and community organizations that played significant roles in the success of this project. Representatives from the project's agency partners included:

  • the Federal Highway Administration;
  • the city of Colorado Springs; and
  • the El Paso County and Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments.

The project involved many community members, such as the Working Team Stakeholders and the Aesthetics/Trails/Parks Committee, who provided valuable input on the project from the very beginning including helping to establish the project goals, input on design and aesthetics guidelines, and recommendations for maintaining traffic during construction.

"As a transportation community, we challenged this team. We believe this project team has not only met these project goals but in many ways, has exceeded expectations," Rowe said. "They came through in a big way, largely due to great partnerships between all involved and with what is an excellent Design-Build Team of Kraemer North America, the contractor, and Tsiouvaras Simmons Holderness (TSH), the design firm. CDOT, the citizens and the traveling public are the beneficiaries of this good work."

The $115 million project (including landscaping) was fully funded by multiple federal, state, Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP), local federal metro funds, and local sources—including local match funding from the city of Colorado Springs and El Paso County.

"The I-25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build project is a shining example of how CDOT is successfully delivering transportation solutions to our customers within the state of Colorado," said CDOT Deputy Executive Director Michael Lewis. "This Interchange has been designed to provide improved operations, safety and so much more."

Improvements made as a part of this project included:

  • A reconstructed I-25 providing an improved highway alignment, and improved ramps, acceleration/deceleration lanes and shoulders for better I-25 operations;
  • Reconstructed new and wider I-25 bridge structures;
  • Enhancements of the interchange traffic flow, sight distances, and safety operations;
  • A new connection between 8th Street and US 24 providing up to 40 percent improvement in traffic capacity in that area; and
  • Better trail connections, improved water quality, and aesthetic enhancements.

Students and alumni from the Colorado Springs Conservatory led the singing of the National Anthem. A special group cut the ribbon and openEd the new trails under the interchange: five bicyclists representing the project's local Working Team Stakeholders and Aesthetics/Trails/Parks Committee, as well the many members of the community and future generations who will enjoy this interchange, and the trails/creeks for years to come.

Riders included: Allen Beauchamp/Bicycle Colorado Springs, Kate Brady/City of Colorado Springs Bicycle Planner, Susan Davies/Trails and Open Space Coalition, Ross Williams/El Paso County Parks Planner, and Kara Winger/Olympian.

Following the ribbon cutting was the symbolic unveiling of the new I-25/Cimarron interchange.

In addition to Lewis, other speakers at the event included Transportation Commissioner Rocky Scott, Federal Highway Colorado Division Administrator John Cater, El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

Mayor Suthers extended gratitude to the project team.

"This project epitomizes how our collective transportation funding and a commitment to work together results in an end product that benefits everyone," he said. "The I-25/Cimarron interchange, with its impressive new look and overall improved safety and capacity, has given us a new Gateway into the City of Colorado Springs as well as to the towns and mountains to the west. The creek and trail improvements are a successful example of how to make transportation infrastructure function well for vehicle traffic, also useable to citizens for other modes of transportation (walking/biking), which supports the city brand as an outdoor recreation destination. I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all who went above and beyond to deliver to our citizens an interchange that we and future generations can all be very proud."

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Project Info

The $115 million (including landscaping) I-25/Cimarron Interchange Design-Build Project involved rebuilding the I-25 interchange between Colorado Avenue on the north and South Nevada Avenue to the south, 8th Street on the west and the Cimarron Street over Fountain Creek bridge on the east. Improvements are intended to provide enhanced operations, correct existing safety and design deficiencies, and to serve the anticipated short- and long-term travel demands in this area.

This is now  a high-functioning interchange that safely handles more vehicles and enhances multi-modal travel for those using I-25, US 24/Cimarron Street and the trail system along Monument and Fountain creeks. The project will be fully complete by Dec. 1, 2017.