DOUGLAS COUNTY — There is a lot of happening right now on The Gap project as it heads into the final year of the four-year expansion. The project expands an 18 mile stretch of I-25 between Colorado Springs and Denver. Some work is complete, making it a lot easier for the nearly 80-thousand vehicles a day going through the construction zone.
There is new pavement with plenty of room to roll on the Monument Hill portion of the project.
"In a lot of instances where there were previously concrete barriers, it's gone now and it won't be coming back," said Bob Wilson with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
At the opposite end to the north, near Castle Rock, it is similar with barriers gone and newly paved lanes.
"In many areas the roadway it is opening up, it's straighter, it's smoother with the brand-new pavement. We're already at the 70% mark as far as completion of paving," said Wilson. On both ends it is striped for two lanes with very wide shoulders. The expansion is designed for three lanes each direction, but that does not happen until all phases of the project are complete.
The need for attention and caution remains in Phase Three, the section going past the town of Larkspur.
"Which is the most complex part of the project due to the amount of bridges and the curvature of the highway that needs to be softened," said Wilson. It remains a large and active construction zone through just over four miles at the mid-portion of the project.
All the curves and challenging geography in the center section slow the work pace.
"There are still going to be impacts and people still need to be prepared to slow down, be prepared for some lane shifts," said Wilson. Work in the area will fill the final year of the four-year timeline.
Although drivers will find and enjoy newly opened lanes, everyone needs to remember the whole 18-mile stretch remains a construction zone. State patrol is doing enforcement with troopers watching from the air and on the ground.