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Sep 12, 2013 5:45 PM by Andy Koen

Ramp changes coming at North Gate Blvd

COLORADO SPRINGS - A temporary traffic shift will affect access to US Air Force Academy, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry and other neighborhoods near North Gate Boulevard and I-25.

Starting Sunday September 22, there will be limited closures of the on and off ramps to speed up construction of roundabouts at the freeway exits part of the @i25expansion project.

The following detours will be in place during 19 day traffic shift:

1. Vehicles northbound on I-25 will be unable to enter the Air Force Academy via Exit 156A
Detour: Northbound I-25, exit at Baptist Road (Exit 158), re-enter southbound I-25, exit to the Air Force Academy (Exit 156B).

2. Vehicles westbound on North Gate Boulevard will be unable to enter southbound I-25
Detour: Northbound I-25 to Baptist Road (Exit 158), re-enter southbound I-25. Or, drive Voyager Parkway south to Interquest Parkway, Interquest Parkway west to southbound I-25.

3. Vehicles leaving the Air Force Academy via the north gate will be unable to enter northbound I-25
Detour: I-25 south to Interquest Parkway (Exit 153), east to Voyager Parkway, north on Voyager Parkway, west on North Gate Boulevard, to northbound I-25 onramp. Or, for those with military identification or a pass, south on Stadium Boulevard to the Air Force Academy's south gate and the entrance to northbound I-25.

4. Vehicles southbound on I-25 will be unable to use Exit 156A to travel east on North Gate Boulevard
Detour: Exit I-25 at Baptist Road (Exit 158), drive east to Struthers Road, Struthers Road south to North Gate Boulevard. Or, exit at Interquest Parkway (Exit 153) east to Voyager Parkway, then north to North Gate Boulevard.

Project Manager Dan Hunt of the Colorado Department of Transportation acknowledged the inconvenience the shift will create for drivers and nearby businesses.

"The short-term closure will result in long-term gains for the traveling public and local businesses," Hunt said.

When construction is complete, the two existing loop ramps to eastbound and westbound North Gate Boulevard will be permanently removed. A third loop ramp from eastbound North Gate Boulevard to northbound I-25 will also be permanently removed.

The I-25 widening project is more than 40 percent complete and a news release states the contractor is committed to reaching their goal of opening a third traffic lane in each direction by Dec. 31, 2013 with full construction completion in July. CDOT's required deadline is December of 2014.

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