Progress is being made as the project to widen the stretch of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock moves forward.
The Colorado Department of Transportation released a brief look at their environmental assessment on Thursday, with the full document to be released for the public on Friday. Once it is available, there will be a 30 day public comment period with hearings to be held on May 14 and May 16.
If all goes as planned construction could start this summer.
"This is a major milestone for CDOT and for the I-25 Gap project. More importantly it’s a major milestone for us together to move forward on saving people’s lives that use our highway system and to improve travel time and reliability between Colorado’s populated cities, the capitol of Denver and the fast growing Colorado Springs," said Michael Lewis, Executive Director of CDOT.
Comments will be accepted verbally at the meetings as well as written and court reporters can also take verbal statements publicly or privately. The 18 mile stretch of I-25 has not been updated since the 1960s.
"When this highway was built it was very much a rural interstate highway," Lewis said. He went on to say that now more than ever the interstate is a commuting route and will need to expand in order to be reliable for the drivers expecting to use it.
Included in the proposal is the widening of the shoulder along both sides of the interstate and the addition of a third "Express Lane" with a variable toll in each director to offer trip reliability.
As of now, CDOT has been able to identify a total of $350 million for the project. The bulk of that will come from state funds, with $250 million conditionally approved. El Paso County voters approved $15 million for the project, The Pikes Peak Regional Transportation Authority voter approved measure will contribute $10 million, Douglas County also has $10 million and finally an additional $65 million could come from a federal grant from USDOT. That grant is apparently still pending approval.
Click here to learn more about the project from CDOT.