The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is moving forward with the I-25 Gap Lane Project to deliver a much-needed improvement to northbound I-25 between Santa Fe Drive and the US 6 interchange. Essentially, crews will create a fourth through lane on northbound I-25 between Santa Fe Drive and US 6.
Adding a fourth lane in this area requires a significant amount of work over the weekend of Aug. 8-11. To minimize inconvenience to the traveling public, crews will complete this work in two phases, enabling the highway to remain open during the day on Saturday.
The highway will initially close Friday, Aug. 8, at 9 p.m. and remain closed until 8 a.m. Saturday. The roadway will remain open throughout the day on Satuday. Then, Saturday night at 9 p.m., both directions of I-25 will close again, reopening by 5 a.m. Monday.
During these full closures of I-25, crews will restripe and shift northbound lanes and repave the highway, consolidating over one month of work into one weekend.
“We can’t emphasize this strongly enough: avoid this area of I-25 during these closures if at all possible,” said Kevin Sullivan, CDOT Project Director. “We expect extensive backups, prolonged travel delays and excessive traffic congestion if traffic numbers reach normal Sunday volumes.”
CDOT implores regional through traffic to avoid the area altogether by using I-225, I-70, US 285, C-470,
E-470 or any other alternate route.
“RTD’s light rail service is another option if you need to get downtown,” Sullivan continued. “Realistically, the best bet is to cross I-25 off the list for that weekend and use alternative modes of transportation or alternate routes.”
While crews will narrow all lanes to 11 feet and shoulders in both directions of I-25 to make room for this additional northbound lane, the benefits outweigh this tradeoff. When I-25 reopens Monday morning, northbound drivers will be able to use this additional lane to help improve traffic flow. Although this will not eliminate traffic congestion in this area, it will certainly be an improvement and will increase mobility through this heavily traveled stretch of highway.
That said, due to ongoing US 6 Bridges Project work, drivers will not realize the full benefits of the I-25 Gap Lane Project until the completion of the northbound I-25 off-ramp flyover bridge to westbound US 6, currently scheduled for early 2015.
The I-25 Gap Lane Project only provides a temporary fix to traffic congestion in this area, as the long-term solution will not come until funding is available to make permanent improvements to I-25 between Alameda and US 6.
TRAVEL IMPACTS: Local detour routes for the full I-25 closure include the following:
Northbound I-25 will detour to northbound Santa Fe Drive, continue north to 8th Avenue, west on 8th Avenue to Kalamath Street, and south on Kalamath Street to westbound US 6 to reconnect with northbound I-25.
Southbound I-25 will detour west on US 6 to Federal Boulevard, south on Federal Boulevard to 5th Avenue to merge onto eastbound US 6, and east on US 6 to reconnect with southbound I-25. There could also be delays along eastbound US 6 near I-25 with additional traffic following this detour route.
Northbound Santa Fe Drive: In conjunction with this closure, northbound Santa Fe Drive will close just south of I-25 over the weekend, with traffic detoured on Mississippi Avenue to northbound Broadway and eventually Lincoln Street. Access to businesses along Santa Fe Drive will be available via Alameda Avenue. Detour signage will guide commuters through the area.
PROJECT INFORMATION: The $98 million US 6 Bridges Design-Build Project will replace six obsolete bridges on US 6 between Knox Court and I-25, improve traffic movements in the I-25 and US 6 interchange and enhance driver safety by eliminating several traffic weave movements along US 6 between Federal Boulevard and I-25. Substantial project completion is planned for August 2015.
To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available at www.cotrip.org, downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.