Historical Construction Highlights

Denver Valley Highway

Constructed August, 1948 to November, 1958

First planning, 1944. Charles D. Vail, CDOH Chief Engineer, contracted with the Denver consulting firm Crocker & Ryan for a feasibility study. Study completed Dec. 22, 1944.

Valley Highway was envisioned to move traffic efficiently from Greeley to Colorado Springs , along the right of way of U.S. 85.

Begun in 1948

Length: 11.1 miles (from west 53 rd Ave. at Acoma St. the new Denver/Colorado Springs Highway, East Colorado Ave. at South Colorado Blvd.)

Cost: $30.57 million

($10.3 million ROW; $20.25 million construction)

Numerous contracts were awarded through the various segments

First contract: relocation of irrigation ditch and sewer

Cost: $284,000

Began: August, 1948

Contractor: Colorado Constructors, Inc.

First segment: 2.2 miles, north city limits to 48 th Ave. Cost: $2.22 million

Contractor: Northwestern Engineering Company, Denver

Began: Nov. 16, 1948 Construction took: two years

Final Contract: West 3 rd Avenue to Emerson Street Length: 2.8 miles

Cost: $1.48 million

Bids Opened: April 23, 1958

Completion, November 23, 1958

Freeway had 54 miles of two-lane highway construction, including ramps & service roads

62 bridges, 73 miles of drainage pipes

Lawrence/Larimer connection to the West Colfax viaduct of the Valley Highway was opened January 5, 1963

Cost: $1.7 million

Pueblo Freeway

Constructed: 1949 to July 1, 1959

Old State Route 1 was built between Denver and Pueblo around 1919. It was a huge improvement over the previous wagon trails, but the trip between the two cities (130 miles) took about eight hours in those days, with about 2.5 hours required from Pueblo to Colorado Springs

First paved (concrete) roadway from Colorado Springs to Pueblo was completed in 1930. It was 18' wide and was on U.S. 85/87. This reduced the travel time from Pueblo to Colorado Springs to one hour.

Pueblo Freeway

Length: 9.2 miles

Cost: $10.6 million ($2.9 million of that for right of way acquisition)

35 Bridges

Total of 23 miles of two-lane highway, including ramps and frontage roads

25.5 miles of drainage pipe, ranging in size from 6” to 84” in diameter

20 construction contracts were awarded

First Segment: 40 th St. to U.S. 50 intersection, 3.3 miles

Cost: $534,000

Most expensive feature: .6 mile long bridge over Arkansas River and railroad at West 4 th

Cost: $1.77 million

Colorado Springs Monument Valley Freeway

Constructed: November, 1955 to July 1, 1960

Length: 12 miles

Cost: $12.2 million ($3.46 million for right of way acquisition)

Pre-contracts totaling $2.3 million were awarded in late 1955

First segment: Nevada to Cimarron

Cost: $2.25 million

Contract awarded: Nov. 1, 1957

Entire project included 13 construction contracts total

39.5 miles of two-lane highway, including ramps and frontage roads

38 bridges

Colorado-Wyoming Link of I-25

Constructed July 31, 1962 to Oct. 11, 1964

Section built on roadway of wagon road dating to July 7, 1862

Route was first paved in 1936 in two separate projects, costing $17,621 for a distance of 21 miles

Four miles north of Wellington , CO , to Colorado/Wyoming Border ( Wyoming segment on to Cheyenne )

Opened: Oct. 11, 1964

Length: Colorado 17 mi.; Wyoming 9 mi.

Cost: $4.49 million ( Colorado section); $4.2 million (Wyoming Section)

Total Cost: $8.69 million

Contracts for grading, structures, and construction of the Colorado segment went to out of state contractors: Wilbur Christensen Const., Rapid City , SD ; Mott Construction, Centerville , IA ; and Western Contracting, Sioux City , IA.

Unique feature of this project: due to more use of automated equipment than on any previous Colorado highway project, a record was set of laying 9,354 linear feet of concrete pavement, eight inches thick and 24 feet wide, in one day.

Trinidad Segment of I-25

Major work was required in the city of Trinidad and on the most mountainous portion of I-25, the climb from Trinidad to Raton Pass , which gains about 1,800 in 13 miles. Surveys from the top of Raton Pass down to Trinidad had been conducted in 1959 and 1960; surveys of the new route of I-25 through Trinidad began in 1960, almost simultaneously with the beginning of construction of I-25 at the summit of Raton Pass. The first segment built from Raton Pass was 2.5 miles descending to the north; this was then extended for several more miles to Starkville in 1962. This highest portion of I-25 was largely built off the grade of the old U.S. 85/87, which followed closely the route of the old Wootton Toll Road . I-25 required new grades and new construction in most places.

Construction on the portion through Trinidad began in 1961. U.S. 85/87 followed a route through Trinidad via Linden Street to North Ave. , west to Arizona St. , down Arizona to Commercial, Commercial to Main, then on Main west to Country Club and on up to the south on what is now known as the Santa Fe Trail .

Construction of the current northbound elevated portion of I-25 through Trinidad began in 1962. The structure was approximately 2,000 feet long. Construction of this segment was completed and the entire route through Trinidad was opened to two-way traffic in 1963. The final segment connecting the south end of Trinidad to Starkville , 3.5 miles above to the south, was completed and opened in 1966. The final elevated portion of the freeway, today's southbound viaduct structure, was opened in 1968. At that point, four lanes of divided highway were open all the way through Trinidad .

Final Section of I-25, 21 Miles/Huerfano & Las Animas Counties

The final segment of I-25 to be built in Colorado , totaling 21 miles between Walsenburg and Trinidad, was dedicated on Sunday, Sept. 21, 1969, at the Rugby Rest Area, midway between Trinidad and Walsenburg.

The contracts for the final two projects, totaling 21 miles, were both let on July 3, 1968. Leone Construction of Trinidad won a bid of $1.628 million for 6.5 miles of two-laning south of Walsenburg, and Pioneer Construction won a $1.82 million contract for the 14.5 m iles between Santa Clara Creek add Ludlow . Of that 14.5 miles, 11 comprised two-laning. Stultz Construction won the contract for construction of the Rugby Rest Area.

Completion of the 21-mile segment meant that four lanes of I-25 were open from Wyoming to New Mexico , 299 miles total.

Dedication ceremonies were hosted jointly by the Walsenburg and Chambers of Commerce hosted the dedication ceremonies.