COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An $11.5 million resurfacing project kicked off on Highway 24 Monday.
It’s expected to last until 2020.
Crews said they are going to hold off on big closures until after July 4, hoping to not impact holiday mountain traffic or Pikes Peak Hill Climb visitors.
On average, about 40,000 cars come through this part of Highway 24 every day. That’s half as much as the more than 80,000 cars that go through the Gap.
Like the I-25 Gap, Highway 24 between Colorado Springs and the mountain communities west of Manitou will soon be a slow-moving cone zone.
CDOT executive director Shoshana Lew said the project is long overdue–so much so that maintenance crews were working overtime.
“I know it’s kind of blasphemy, but we were praying to the rain gods that it wouldn’t rain that day, because anytime we got a little bit of rain or snow, or anything like that, we got more potholes opening up,” said Brad Byron with CDOT.
For the first time since 2004, the seven-mile stretch of Highway 24 between 8th Street and the Waldo Canyon entrance will get a fresh coat of asphalt.
“We got about 15 years out of this pavement life,” Dave Watt said. “That’s what we expect. It’s been a rougher spring, with weather and cold temperatures and moisture we have.”
“Our goal is to reduce traffic deaths and traffic injuries,” said Karen Rowe with CDOT.
This project is focusing on repaving, safety improvements, and bridge work.
Because traffic will pick up for summertime camping trips and mountain tourism, CDOT said they won’t be working during peak traffic times. They will work through the night and avoid weekends to have minimal impact.
At times, they will be lowering the speed limit to 45 mph and reducing lanes to keep their crews safe.
“We thank everybody for their patience,” Watt said. “It is going to be a little bit inconvenient, again this is a necessary project to complete. We are looking forward to completing it on budget, on time and safely.”
The paving project is expected to last through December 2019, but bridge projects will continue into 2020.