The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration announced Monday that they have signed off signed the official Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which is a study of the impact the work would have on the enviroment.
The GAP project is an 18-mile stretch of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock. Currently there are two lanes in each direction.
CDOT Executive Director Michael Lewis says the study was necessary before they could break ground on the project. Lewis says the project will improve safety, mobility and travel reliability, by adding lanes, new bridges and wildlife crossings.
The project has been controversial with plenty of public response to the idea. Responses to the recent public comment period are included in the report and can be found on the CDOT website.
Funding has been identified and construction is scheduled to begin later this summer.
Key features of the project:
- Widen by one lane in each direction the 18 mile stretch of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock. The new lane in each direction will operate as an Express Lane. Motorists will always have the choice of taking the two general purpose lanes for free or they will be able to take the Express Lane for a reliable trip in exchange for a variable toll. The Express Lane will provide a level of long-term travel reliability that a new general purpose lane can’t.
- Widen shoulders to allow room for enforcement zones, maintenance and detours around incidents.
- Rehabilitate structures and pavements, including the replacement of four bridges.
- Build four wildlife underpasses and expand the existing one at Plum Creek.
- Improve lighting, signage, fencing and other features.
- Construction cost: $350 million