DOUGLAS COUNTY – The long-awaited expansion of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock is underway. Governor John Hickenlooper joined El Paso and Douglas County Commissioners, the Colorado State Patrol and members of the Colorado Department of Transportation in for a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.
The $350 million dollar road construction project will expand the Interstate by adding a third tolled lane in each direction, widening shoulders, adding wildlife crossings under the road an updating signs and lighting.
El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller said it’s all happening much sooner than many thought possible.
“I can’t believe that we’re finally here,” Waller said. “A couple of years ago when we started getting really aggressive about this project, everybody thought it was going to be 10 years before we got started.”
The last time there was any improvement on this stretch of Interstate was when it was first built during the Kennedy Administration. Colorado’s population has tripled since then and so has the highway traffic.
Matthew Packard the Chief of the Colorado State Patrol explained that the road design just isn’t safe anymore.
“This is a place when you make a traffic stop, the traffic behind you stops,” Packard said. “This is a concept that’s not safe. There’s not enough room for people to move about freely and for our troopers to work safely and this project is going to fix that.”
Waller added that accidents on this stretch of highway impact traffic flow much more than they do on newer roadways.
“There’s not a good place to put the cars that were in the accident,” Waller said. “You’ve got to pull them off to the shoulder, but the shoulder is so narrow, it causes shutdowns in the other lanes and that really causes traffic to bottleneck and delays it for hours and hours.”
Construction is expected to last late into 2021. The speed limit will be reduced to 65 miles per hour during the duration of the project.
Drivers can expect lane closures between 8:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. The frontage roads between Plum Creek Parkway and Tomah Road will also be subject to intermittent closures. Check on construction updates before traveling through the corridor.
You can call the Construction Hotline at 720-745-5434, or sign up for email update by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, sign up for text alerts by texting I25GAP to 21000. Standard messaging and data rates apply.