Identifying that congestion, accidents and traffic delays along the I-25 corridor between Monument and C-470 are a source of frustration for many, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) initiated a planning and environmental linkages (PEL) study in 2016 to identify immediate and longer-term solutions to the stretch of I-25 that connects Colorado Springs and the Denver south area.
By Elizabeth Wood West; graphics provided by CDOT
On January 24 and 26, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) held public presentations in Douglas and El Paso counties soliciting input regarding its planning and environmental linkages (PEL) study for the I-25 corridor between C-470 and Colorado Springs. The PEL focuses on identifying immediate and long-term traffic management solutions for the critical roadway corridor between the Denver south area and Colorado Springs. The I-25 South Gap project (the Gap), which broke ground in August 2018 and is currently under construction, originated from the PEL study. It is a road-widening plan between Castle Rock and Monument with express toll lanes similar to the project underway on C-470 between I-25 and Broadway in Highlands Ranch. The PEL study had temporarily been put on hold while CDOT focused on getting the Gap project launched.
The purpose of the PEL study meetings was to consider public input on the possible scenarios and the preliminary recommendations of the study. Next steps include evaluating, refining, and prioritizing alternatives based on the ability to solve the biggest problems (in combination with potential future transit solutions). This will lead to the creation of an implementation plan for developing, funding, and phasing the projects. Additional feedback will then be solicited on the implementation plan, and the PEL study will be finalized in spring 2019, according to CDOT Communications Manager Tamara Rollison.
The PEL study meetings featured presentation boards detailing options for increased travel capacity on I-25 between C-470 and Colorado Springs, including the portion between Castle Rock and Monument (the Gap). Some of the preliminary recommendations for this corridor included:
Highway Improvements: Two new travel lanes in each direction on I-25 between Monument and C-470 – one Express Lane and one additional travel lane.
Transit Opportunities: Enhanced regional bus service (Bustang) with Express Lanes, increased frequency and a new stop and service for Castle Rock; and Front Range Rail (planned, not funded) offering service between Pueblo and Fort Collins and a potential first phase between north Colorado Springs (Briargate) and DIA.
Other Localized Improvements: Interchange improvements/new interchanges; new or enhanced truck weigh stations, port of entry stops, chain-up stations and climbing lane(s); frontage road improvements/expansion; new or enhanced bicycle lanes; and technological/communication improvements.
For further information about CDOT’s PEL study, visit: www.codot.gov/projects/i-25-south-monument-castle-rock-ea/projects/I25COSDEN.
To review CDOT’s PEL study presentation boards, visit: www.codot.gov/projects/I25COSDEN/projects/I25COSDEN/i25monumenttoc470-assets/January_2019_Public_Meeting_Boards%20/.