Toll lanes are the slated solution to traffic woes from Castle Rock to Monument.
September brings us changing colors, the beginning of fall, and yet more construction on our major roadways. Not that more roadwork is anything new for Colorado drivers; there’s a saying that there are five seasons in our great state: spring, summer, fall, winter, and road construction (which is pretty much year-round these days).
“The Gap,” the massive I-25 construction project between Castle Rock and Monument Hill, is slated to begin next month. The completion date is slated for 2022. This $350 million project will be in the hands of Kraemer North America, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)-selected construction manager/general contractor.
Currently, the 18-mile stretch is a four-lane section that connects Colorado’s two largest metropolitan cities. While at one point in time it handled traffic well, those days are way, way over.
“The Interstate system in Colorado was designed in the 1950s, built in the 1960s for a 1980s population projection of 3 million. Current population in Colorado is 6 million, and we are expected to grow to 8 million in the future,” said CDOT. “We’ve seen a noticeable increase in traffic volumes and delays on I-25 between Colorado Springs and Denver. Improving The Gap is a top statewide priority.”
What it Entails
The project will add an Express Toll lane to each direction of I-25 (the tolls have drawn public opposition), widening it to a six-lane corridor from Castle Rock to Monument. So, if you are hoping to get out of the vehicle-packed fray, you’ll have to pay. It will also widen shoulders, improve drainage, repair aging bridges, improve pavement and truck access, modernize communication systems, and add more wildlife crossings.
Though construction will begin in September, CDOT says that most of the corridor will be involved by the summer of 2019. If you’d like to learn more about the project, environmental assessments of the proposed work and more, you can visit the project page of CDOT’s site. Once the construction begins, that page will also include updates on progress, closures and more.
What do you think about The Gap project? Do you support the addition of toll lanes rather than regular lanes? Let us know in the comments below.