More than 85,000 vehicles per day travel through the 18-mile stretch of I-25 between Castle Rock and Monument known as the Gap.
The section of highway has been a nightmare for travelers going back many years. It's been most notable, however, during the past three years as the Colorado Department of Transportation and its construction partners at Kraemer North America worked on the project through challenging weather —a bomb cyclone in 2019, for example — and a pandemic, in which they kept working around the clock.
This is one story of the travails of traveling through the Gap.
In 2020, I was on assignment in Colorado Springs, visiting a private prison that was being shuttered. I put my car keys in a place where I thought they'd be safe: a rarely used pocket in my handbag.
I went about my business. At the end of the day, I couldn't find the car keys and I didn't have a spare set.
So I called my husband, Jeff, who is a very good guy, to ask him to drive the 75 miles or so to the Springs with a spare key.
He wasn't happy. He doesn't like traffic. And he really didn't like the idea of driving through the Gap. It was, after all, mid-January, on a very cold and kind of crappy weather day.
It was a dark and stormy evening.
He made it down to the Springs by about 6:30 p.m., and he still wasn't happy. Driving through the Gap was a nightmare — the lanes were too narrow and it felt like 18-wheelers were only inches from his new car. No shoulders to speak of, either.
"I'm not ever driving this again," he said. "Not until the project is finished."
Actually, he did have to do it one more time, the trip back to Lakewood.
I almost didn't have the heart to tell him I'd found my keys.
P.S. We're still married.