Event Marks Completion of Interstate 25 & State Highway 16 Project

May 17, 2011 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - FOUNTAIN — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), El Paso County, the City of Fountain and Fort Carson celebrated the recent completion of the new I-25/State Highway 16 Interchange and State Highway 16 between I-25 and U.S. 85, a project that significantly upgrades traffic movements for civilians and military operations.

"This transportation improvement is very important to the future of our military here in the Pikes Peak Region", says El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, Chair of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG).  "PPACG and our local partner agencies were instrumental in coordinating, planning and gathering the funding for the State Highway 16 project as one of our highest priorities.  In addition, the support of our military installations demonstrates our appreciation for the men and women in uniform who protect the freedoms we enjoy."

The $65 million project was built in two phases:

  • Phase One – Constructed new bridges over I-25, Fountain Creek and Crews Gulch; reconstructed ramps, including a new direct ramp connection from southbound I-25 into Fort Carson; widened SH 16 to four lanes between Fort Carson and Crews Gulch.  Completed in winter 2009.  Contractor was SEMA Construction Inc. of Centennial, CO.
  • Phase Two – Widened SH 16 to four lanes between Crews Gulch and Syracuse Street; constructed new bridge over U.S. 85 and the BNSF & UP railroads; built an auxiliary lane on U.S. 85; improved safety on the ramps at U.S. 85 and relocated frontage roads. Completed in fall 2010.  Contractor was Hamon Contractors, Inc. of Denver.

“This opening ceremony shows the extent of the hard work and partnership that came together, confirming the importance of Fort Carson, not just here in El Paso County, but throughout the state,” said Fountain Mayor Jeri Howells.  “I want to thank all the individuals and organizations who were involved, especially CDOT, for the work and professionalism in getting this project completed in such an outstanding manner.”

Prior to the reconstruction, SH 16 and the I-25 interchange experienced chronic congestion, especially during rush hours, with long backups on the ramps from I-25, and on SH 16 between Fort Carson and U.S. 85.  This segment of SH 16 averages about 21,000 vehicles daily.

“Today’s ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the completion of the new              I-25/State Highway 16 Interchange and to recognize all those individuals and agencies that have worked together to make this important improvement possible”, said Colorado Transportation Commission Chairman Les Gruen.  “On behalf of my fellow Transportation Commissioners, I would like to thank everyone who made this important enhancement to our roadway network possible.”

The project also enhances military readiness.  Fort Carson is one of three U.S. locations that share the mission to provide a force ready for Rapid Deployment to world hot spots.  This project facilitates Fort Carson’s mission by creating a more direct route to the Colorado Springs Airport, allowing the new Rapid Deployment Route to use Gate 20, SH 16, Mesa Ridge Parkway and SH 21 to the south end of the airport, where a new storage and loading facility was constructed.

“The Highway 16 and I-25 project completion is a milestone for Fort Carson and the local community, providing improved traffic flow for Fort Carson civilian and military personnel and for personnel and equipment between Fort Carson and the Colorado Springs Airport,” said Deputy Garrison Commander John Keenan.  “This project demonstrates the community’s support and commitment to Fort Carson and the unprecedented growth that has occurred on the Post during the last several years.  The completion of the project is one more example of why Fort Carson remains one of the Army’s premier power projection installations and will be for years to come.”