COLORADO SPRINGS — The impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching as closures, and cancellations can be seen across our communities, but some of the essential work that continues is along Colorado's roads. News5 learned less traffic is giving CDOT more flexibility with schedules helping to get the work done.
The spread of Coronavirus has interrupted the lives of people across the nation. Here in Colorado crews along our state's highways and roads continue to work. While they agree this is a very difficult time for our country, they say less traffic is actually making their work zone safer and it's allowing them to have more flexibility with their schedules.
By this summer construction crews hope drivers will notice a big difference when they ride on Highway 24 between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
"We are going to have 2 and a half inches of brand new asphalt. Where we had a very rough road before we're going to have a lot smoother ride," said CDOT Engineer Dave Watt who is overseeing the project.
Considered essential workers, the men and women doing road work in this area say things have changed since stay at home orders were put into place.
"We've seen a drastic drop in traffic. Probably about 40 to 50 percent the traffic volume has been reduced," said Watt.
This is allowing construction work to go on both day and night and the project can close lanes without a major impact to traffic. It may even save taxpayers money in the long-run.
"If we can reduce the time that we are out here that can help with the budget," said Watt.
Work also continues along a dozen I-25 on-ramps to prepare for the roll-out of traffic meter lights. Project leaders say it's work that typically would've taken place at night, speeding up the process.
"It's progressing schedules," said CDOT Engineer Randy Johnson. "That means earlier delivery times for projects and so that is the positive for construction right now."
CDOT leaders are optimistic about the road work that can be accomplished during the next few weeks with stay at home orders still in place. While in many cases it's still too early to say if these projects will be completed ahead of schedule. They say without a doubt work zones are safer and that's helping them in the mission to get the work done.