I-25 widening project, I-70 shoulder lane win federal funding (copy)

Traffic commuters driving on I-25 Southbound get stuck in a traffic accident on Oct. 12, 2017 just past Larkspur. 

The latest chapter in the widening of the Interstate 25 “Gap” between Monument and Castle Rock is underway this week with the kickoff of a nine-month project to rebuild a highway overpass near Larkspur.

A stretch of southbound I-25 has been closed overnight from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. since Sunday and will continue to be  through Friday morning as demolition starts on the west side of Spruce Mountain Road bridge above the interstate, says a news release from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

During the closures, southbound I-25 traffic will be funneled into one lane just north of the road, and drivers will exit the highway at the main Larkspur interchange, Exit 173. They then will take Spruce Mountain Road to the Upper Lake Gulch Road on-ramp to return to southbound I-25, the news release says.

The overnight closures will likely cause “minor” delays, said CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson. “Traffic will probably slow down, but we’re not expecting a massive backup.”

The Spruce Mountain Road on-ramp to northbound I-25 will be shut down until the bridge reconstruction is done early next summer, he said. Drivers will still be able to access northbound I-25 at Upper Lake Gulch Road.

More nighttime lane restrictions are expected near the overpass later this month. Traffic will be restricted to one lane on each side of the interstate, and northbound traffic will be shifted west toward the southbound side so crews can tear down the east side of the Spruce Mountain Road bridge, Wilson said.

Over the next nine months, there will also be some 16-hour closures of the southbound I-25 off-ramp to Spruce Mountain Road and another series of overnight closures on southbound I-25 as crews begin rebuilding the bridge.

CDOT will continue to keep at least two lanes of traffic open in each direction during peak travel times.

The $350 million widening project, which broke ground last year, will add a pair of toll lanes to the roughly 18-mile stretch of I-25 known as the Gap. The project — funded by a mix of state, local and federal money — is expected to be completed by fall 2022, Wilson said.

Lane shifts and nighttime traffic restrictions are now happening up and down the entire stretch.

Work is underway on three wildlife crossings near Monument and the new interchange at Greenland Road, Wilson said.

This fall, northbound and southbound traffic on the northernmost portion of the Gap — from Castle Rock to Sky View Lane — will be entirely shifted toward the median as crews work on the outer edges of the interstate, he said.

Contact the writer: 636-0108

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