I-25 & Santa Fe Interchange

I-25 & Santa Fe Interchange

New Precast Panel Prior to Staining
Reinforced Earth Product in Field
Denver, CO
Colorado Dept. of Transportation
Hamon Contractors
Slaton Bros.
Pacheco CPI


In mid-July 2011 the Colorado Department of Transportation began the $32.1 million I-25/Santa Fe Drive Interchange project near downtown Denver. Hamon Contractors was awarded the job and Slaton Bros, working with The Reinforced Earth Company (RECo) and Pacheco CPI, was hired to provide the permanent and temporary retaining walls on the project.

Originally constructed in 1958, the existing I-25 bridges over Santa Fe Drive are in desperate need of replacement. The interchange sees some of the highest traffic volume in the Denver metro area and is a constant site of heavy travel congestion. In the existing design traffic merges onto I-25 on the left and right sides near a curve in the highway causing a bottleneck. The new plan consists of a flyover ramp from northbound Santa Fe Drive to northbound I-25, eliminating the left-side on-ramp and improving traffic flow. Once complete, there will be four lanes on I-25 in each direction through Denver from C-470 to US 36.

The new design consists of several Reinforced Earth® products blended together to meet the challenge of replacing interstate bridges in a high-traffic area. Geotrel™, a wire-faced MSE wall using high-tenacity polyester based soil reinforcements or “geostraps”, was the primary product used on the temporary wire walls with a small portion of Terratrel®, a wire-face MSE wall using galvanized steel reinforcements, for permanent sections at the corners and ends. Terratrel is being used to back up several abutment back walls, as is common in Colorado bridge design. There are a total of 13 rectangular panel walls, some of which are connected to each other. On the largest single panel wall there is a sizable portion that adopts a Shored Reinforced Earth Wall™ (SREW) design approach. The new plan requires construction of a panel wall in front of an existing RECo wall with as little as 8 feet between the two structures topping 30 feet. This task proved to be an excellent opportunity to use a new Hilti Kwik Bolt TZ mechanical anchor in place of an epoxy system. Despite installing over 3,000 anchors into reinforced concrete, the damage was minimized and installation went more rapidly than expected.

Aesthetics on the project proposed by CDOT included several goose patterns that were to be used with a sand blast background. This was accomplished by the California based Universal Precast making the goose images out of foam and epoxy-coat them for multiple pours. A construction caulk was then utilized to attach them to a sand blast liner for the desired effect.

The first phase of the project is complete and the second phase is set to start later this year, with an overall completion date of July 2013. This is a good example of how teamwork with our affiliate, Slaton Bros, and working closely with local precaster Pacheco CPI has led to the successful delivery of another turnkey project in the Denver area.