CDOT holds open house to update public on I-25 widening project

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Relief could soon be coming to thousands of drivers who commute to the Denver area each day. The Colorado Department of Transportation is looking at what needs to be done now and in the future to accommodate all the traffic on Interstate 25.

A Planning and Environmental Linkages study is underway to identify immediate and longer-term solutions. An open house was held Thursday evening to give drivers an update and a chance to add their comments and suggestions to the project.

“It’s a mess. We all know it’s a mess,” said Tom LaValley, who went to the meeting.

“We haven’t studied this stretch in a long time. We did improve I-25 to the north and the south and now we’re seeing that in the middle here we’re really needing to take a look at it and see what improvements we need to make,” said projects manager Carrie Dejiacomo.

That middle is the 18-mile stretch that runs between Monument and Castle Rock.

“There are times when it’s fine and it’s doable, but there’s a lot of times it’s not, in particular certain times of year, certain times of day it’s much more difficult than it used to be,” said Megan Phillips, who commutes to see family.

The first step in deciding what to do with the interstate is a study focused on developing a clear and supported plan of action.

“We are looking to see if we need to add three lanes in the gap section or four lanes,” said Dijiacomo.

Those that drive that stretch every day gave their thoughts on how to improve that commute.

“I don’t care for state money to be used for bike paths, nor for trolleys and trains,” LaValley said. “I want extra lanes.”

“I think that trains and light rail seems like it’s a way to accommodate that kind of traffic,” Phillips said.

Money for the study is already there, but money for the expansion is not.

“The money’s in the budget,” LaValley said. “We just got to find it. I’m convinced of that.”

If the funding does come through, the goal is to start construction in the summer of 2019. It’s estimated the cost will be anywhere from $290 to $570 million.

Residents are invited to visit the CDOT website to give feedback on the project.

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