The new intersection at Eighth and Cimarron streets, originally set for Tuesday morning, has been delayed until later this week, the Colorado Department of Transportation officials said Monday. Last week's rainfall delayed critical work on the intersection, according to state traffic officials.
State transportation officials have this advice or drivers when the reconstructed Eighth Street and U.S. 24 intersection opens later this week: It's going to "take some getting used to."
The unveiling is a major milestone in the $113-million Interstate 25/Cimarron Street interchange project, which broke ground in March 2015 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Colorado Department of Transportation officials said.
Drivers can expect a few improvements at the intersection, including:
- a new signalized intersection on Eighth Street;
- a right turning lane from northbound Eighth Street to eastbound U.S. 24;
- signalized left turns from westbound U.S. 24 to Eighth Street;
- a second southbound I-25 to westbound U.S. 24 right turning lane;
- and double right turns from the quadrant to eastbound U.S. 24.
CDOT expects about 1,300 vehicles to use the quadrant intersection during peak evening hours, amounting to 13,000 to 15,000 vehicles per day. In 2035, CDOT projects up to 20,000 vehicles will pass through the intersection that connects travelers to the nearby mountains and Colorado Springs.
Thanks to two separate signalized intersections, the quadrant is expected to help increase rush hour traffic flow by 20 percent on weekdays and 40 percent on weekends, CDOT said.
"This innovative addition to the project suggested by the contractor will significantly reduce the amount of conflicting traffic at the U.S. 24/8th Street intersection by spreading the traffic out," Dave Watt, CDOT's project manager, said in a statement.
Watt had previously said the old interchange, which was built in 1959, was crash-prone with sharp curves.
The I-25/Cimarron interchange project - second largest in Colorado Springs' history - aims to rebuild the interchange between Colorado Avenue on the north and South Nevada Avenue to the south, 8th Street on the west and Cimarron Street over the Fountain Creek bridge to the east.
In November, the project reached a major milestone after crews demolished the I-25 bridge over U.S. 24 and Cimarron Street. It moved into its second phase, which included new traffic signals and signs on Cimarron, landscaping, pedestrian bridges over Upper Fountain Creek and Monument Creek and pavement, realignment, bridge and ramp work on northbound I-25.
The third phase - which includes work on the interstate's median - is scheduled to start in August.
For more information on road closures, visit www.codot.gov/projects/i25cimarronDB