EL PASO COUNTY — Construction is starting on major upgrades to Highway 115. The work from Rock Creek Canyon Road to the El Paso County line addresses safety and traffic congestion issues.
Drivers need to be aware of the construction zone that will be in place for the next 18 months.
An average of 14,000 vehicles a day use Highway 115. It is the most direct route between El Paso and Fremont counties, it provides access to Fort Carson at multiple locations, and it is the way home for many who live in the picturesque areas along the road.
Fast, heavy traffic on the narrow road makes it dangerous for residents coming and going from their homes.
"Many of these entrances do not have acceleration or deceleration lanes,’ said El Paso County Commissioner, Stan Vaderwerf, “So they go directly out onto a highway where people are driving at 60 miles per hour and that's dangerous for the residents.”
Crash statistics gathered from 2016 to 2020 show 178 crashes on 115, 86 people injured, and two killed. It’s an average of between 3 and 4 crashes a month.
“We have data that shows where those accidents are and what causes those accidents,” said CDOT Engineer, Dan Hunt.
Crashes and how to prevent them are part of the new design. The $40 million design widens roads making room for two lanes in each direction, adding passing lanes and space to merge in and out of traffic. A new wider bridge goes in over Rock Creek. The nearly 11-mile stretch will all be repaved.
The $40 million project is an attempt to improve road and bridge safety by adding passing lanes, reconstructing the rock creek bridge, and overall rehabilitating cracked and distressed pavement.
The 18-month-long project is expected to create major traffic pattern changes with CO 115 reduced to one lane in each direction starting this month.
“CO 115 is a vital route linking the area’s military bases, Canon City, Florence, Penrose, Pueblo West, and Colorado Springs. CDOT is committed to completing critical safety improvements on CO 115 as quickly as possible,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.
Crews are expected to primarily work during the daylight hours of Monday - Friday, however, night and weekend work is anticipated to expedite the process.
For additional information about this project:
Project hotline: 719-208-8650
Project email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project web page: https://www.codot.gov/projects/co115-colorado-springs-to-penrose
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