COLORADO SPRINGS — Drivers on part of the I-25 gap project will notice fewer crews and smooth traffic from south of Castle Rock to Tomah Road.
The first phase of the Gap project is nearly complete -- with lanes and infrastructure in place.
Unfortunately, the added express lanes won't open until the rest of the stretch to Monument opens in 2022.
Now that the project is about halfway finished, drivers and State Patrol alike have both been able to learn and adapt.
If you travel the Gap regularly, you know to build in some extra time.
“I commute mostly for work,” regular Gap commuter Theresa Handy said. “Normally what would take about an hour to drive usually takes you about two, two and a half hours.”
And even as construction on phase one wraps up. There are still plenty of Gap “horror stories” to tell.
“We’ve been stuck in traffic for up to 45 minutes,” driver Danni Duran said. “We just turned the car off.”
“3 hours… yeah,” Handy said.
Just ask Colorado State Patrol.
“We have had issues throughout this… a lot of crashes,” Colorado State Patrol Master Trooper Gary Cutler said.
Since construction began, CSP has been taking notes.
“People do start to get used to having construction there so some of them will adjust their traveling,” Cutler said.
Some drivers opt take side roads, like Highway 105 in Palmer Lake.
“When you have roads like 105 there, you are going to see some more traffic, people going through,” Cutler said. “If you’re gonna be doing that, make sure you understand how that road is, curves that you’re not used to, stop signs, traffic coming in.”
Even side roads bring their own “horror” stories.
“Sometimes GPS cuts out and gets you lost,” Handy said.
“Sometimes you miss the turn off, and you’re somewhere, I don’t know where,” Duran said. “And then you just keep going until you figure it out.”