roadconstructionColorado’s Transportation Commission approved $19.55 million in supplemental funds Dec. 18 to bridge a budget shortfall for reconstruction of the I-25/Cimarron Interchange, allowing the project to start in 2015.

Additional funding sources include:

  • $5 million Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships contingency funds;
  • $12.5 million Regional Priority Projects funds; and
  • $2.05 million City of Colorado Springs additional local match funds.

The Colorado Department of Transportation requested the additional funding after revising its cost estimate when preliminary contractor estimates came in 15 to 20 percent higher than previous estimates, which established the original project budget.

“Higher construction costs resulting from material and labor cost increases as well as supply and demand, have become the norm nationally over the last several months, resulting in the current construction industry bidding environment, affecting transportation projects across the state,” said CDOT Regional Transportation Director Karen Rowe.

With the approval, the new total project budget is approximately $116 million, making it the second largest transportation project in the city’s history.

“Today’s approval of funding for major improvements at I-25 and Cimarron is exciting news. It reflects the Transportation Commission’s recognition of how important this interchange is to the Pikes Peak region and for enhancing mobility throughout the state as a whole,” said Transportation Commissioner for the Pikes Peak region Les Gruen. “The Transportation Commission approval of the new budget will allow CDOT to move ahead in selecting a design-build contractor team to take advantage of a full construction season in 2015, and minimize the risks of extending the project duration beyond 2017.”

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In November, the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments approved an amendment for the additional funds, but Transportation Commission approval also was required. At its November meeting, the commission requested that CDOT conduct further analysis of where the scope of the project could be reduced and also to verify its budget calculations through an Independent Cost Estimate process.