When a third lane of northbound Interstate 25 opened, it was 11 miles of interstate driving joy for an estimated 110,000 drivers a day.

The lane between Woodman Road and Colorado State Highway 105 in Monument opened early Dec. 28, just in time for the New Year.

Sure, there will be some periodic daytime single-lane closures for crews to install lights, guardrails and signs, but the speed limit is back up to 65 MPH in that area for some much needed driving relief.

Construction crews were hard at work trying desperately to finish a four-mile segment from Woodmen Road to Interquest Parkway in both directions as part of the project. Working around Mother Nature, crews were able to finish the 11-mile project before Dec. 31 as promised.

Drivers should be reminded that the asphalt they are driving on is not the final pavement, said a spokesman for the project. The final pavement will be applied in this spring and summer when its warmer.

Crews also will resume work on the interstate expansion project southbound between Monument and North Gate Boulevard when it warms up.

By the end of the year, Colorado Department of Transportation hopes to open the third lane in both directions from Interquest Parkway to Northgate Boulevard.

Again, the work and completion will depend on Mother Nature. The project did lose several days because of wildfire and flooding.

When the whole project is complete, there will be six lanes from the southern side of Colorado Springs to the north end of the El Paso County line.