EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Nearly smack in the middle of the project timeline, the Colorado Department of Transportation gave an update on the 18-mile, $350 million dollar expansion of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock.
The department announced five miles of the 18-mile project are nearly done-the northernmost section from Sky View Lane into south Castle Rock.
CDOT admits it was the easier stretch, with no bridge replacements, just new pavement and a new express lane (which will remain closed until the projects completion) in each direction.
Outside of that CDOT updated where many different parts of the project stand:
- 40 percent of new pavement laid
- 95 percent completion of Spruce Mountain Rd. Bridge
- 25 percent completion of the Upper Lake Gulch Road Bridge
- 50 percent completion of bridge over Plum Creek Road
- 50 percent completion of Greenland Road Bridge
“You’ll start to see more and more better pavement,” said Paul Neiman, CDOT’s project director for the south gap construction.
Delays in the project, first estimated as a summer 2021 completion, then Fall 2021 completion and now sometime in 2022, have sprouted during the first two years.
Some of that was aging pavement CDOT claims they couldn’t have known about until they started construction.
Another piece is an improvement to the project that didn’t make the first round of designs. Last year, the replacement of the County Line Road bridge between El Paso County and Douglas County. Neiman says they were able to obtain enough funding for the additional project via the National Highway Freight Program.
It will expand the space under County Line Road to allow for a “climbing lane” for semi trucks from the Monument weigh station to Greenland Road with the goal to reduce congestion.
“It was a different source of funding that was not in the original budget that we had. So, we went out and found those things for improvements for everyone,” Neiman said. “It’s worth it. The extra timeline for those improvements is well worth it.”
Replacement of the bridge is estimated to take ten months, starting in 2021. The bridge will also expand capacity for County Line Road.
Over the two years, safety and speed in the Gap remain a concern for CDOT.
When compared to the years leading up to the beginning of construction, the agency noted a 64 percent increase in crashes. They attribute much of that to people following other drivers too closely as 66 percent of crashes are rear-end collisions, accounting for 80 percent of injury-related crashes.
“We’re doing everything we can to make that highway as safe as possible. Motorists have got to start doing their part,” said Tamara Rollison, the headquarters communications manager for CDOT.