Feb 14, 2012 7:39 PM by Matt Stafford
Nearly 100,000 cars pass over the Woodmen Road Interchange at I-25 each day, according to Colorado Department of Transportation officials. They expect that number to be closer to 150,000 by 2025.
"There's been substantial growth on the north end of El Paso County, and that's pretty obvious with the volumes that are at those interchanges," says Robert Burch, a CDOT project engineer.
To keep traffic moving, they're adding a lane in each direction from Woodmen Road up to Interquest Parkway; a distance of about five miles. It's a $36 million dollar project that they're ready to start bidding out this summer, with construction hopefully going by fall.
$31 million dollars were allocated by the state Transportation Commission for this project; another $5 million was pulled together by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments.
Before construction picks up, CDOT says you'll likely see surveyors along the side of the road. After that, you should see most of the work happening in the median; where they're building the new lanes. Of course, speeds will drop too.
"We're not going to allow any lane closures during the daytime hours; they'll only be at nighttime," says Burch, adding that they want to keep that daytime traffic flowing.
Doing the lane closures at night is kind of like the COSMIX project that widened a 12-mile stretch of I-25 through Colorado Springs just a few years ago. CDOT says this new project will address some similar congestion problems up north, but it shouldn't take as long.
"COSMIX was a $150 million dollar project that took a little over three years to construct," explains Burch. "This project is $36 million; it'll take a little over one construction season."
The window to finish this project is the end of 2013 to the middle of 2014, but there's been talk of adding lanes even farther north.
"If they can find another $30 million dollars, I think we can almost get to Monument in both directions," adds Burch. That's a stretch of road sure to see more traffic in the future. Burch says that conversation has stalled somewhat with the price of asphalt increasing; that drives up the prices of all of their projects. Burch says widening I-25 to Monument is still a desire for CDOT.
Look for construction to begin on this project by this fall.