Enhanced CDOT safety measures in the I-25 Gap include innovative technology

July 24, 2019 - Denver Metro Area - Variable signs helping to manage traffic in 18 mile-long I-25 South Gap construction project

Earlier this month, the Colorado Department of Transportation integrated a new safety technology into its portfolio, with the installation of Portable Variable Speed Limit (PVSL) signs throughout the I-25 South Gap construction project between Monument and Castle Rock. Eleven signs each are set up in both the northbound and southbound directions and are placed near each entrance ramp to alert all traffic entering the work zone. These allow traffic operators to adjust the speed limits in real-time based on weather conditions, crashes, or construction-related impacts. With this technology, crews can slow down traffic ahead of a crash, incident or weather impact, possibly reducing the likelihood of secondary crashes. In combination with deploying this technology, CDOT has lowered the speed limit in the Gap construction area, worked with the Colorado State Patrol to significantly expand traffic enforcement, along with a broad range of other improvements -- identified in partnership with CSP and local partners.  

“The I-25 South Gap project will address many long-standing safety issues on this critical stretch of road, and we are doing everything we can to keep the travelling public safe while that work happens,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Large construction zones can create unexpected conditions for drivers, and we will use variable and lower speed limits, along with expanded enforcement and a broad range of other measures, to make adjustments on the road so that people can move through the area as smoothly and safely as possible. This is the latest in a series of actions to prioritize safety improvements.”

“The Colorado Transportation Commission is dedicated to improving safety on our roads and the other ways people travel,” said Transportation Commission Chair Bill Thiebaut. “We are supporting new initiatives and technologies while we also promote sensible ways to enhance safety in both construction zones and throughout the state.”

"Whether the solutions are sophisticated like variable speed limit signs or as simple as clearing new first responder access points, we are committed to providing everything needed to keep travelers safe through the I-25 South Gap construction zone," said Transportation Commission Vice Chair Rocky Scott. "Safety must always be our top priority, and Colorado is investing in the techniques and technology to make that happen on this project and for our future work throughout the state."

The deployment of PVSLs in the I-25 South Gap project represents the first time this technology has been used in Colorado. They replace existing speed limit signs and display a reduced speed of a maximum 60 mph. Additional safety measures have been implemented on the project:

  • Increased law enforcement presence by the Colorado State Patrol to cover the project seven days a week, contingent upon CSP resources.

  • Adequate first responder access by providing access breaks in the barrier where possible. 

  • New shoulder pull-off locations for emergencies. 

  • Lane closures are limited to off-peak travel periods at night unless emergency situations warrant a lane closure such as road damage repairs or other emergency situations.

  • Incident command personnel will manage issues in the project area and coordinate with first responders with an emphasis on times when construction personnel are not available.

  • No detouring of traffic to alternate routes, such as Colorado Highway 83 or Colorado Highway 105.

  •  Multiple courtesy patrol vehicles are dedicated to the project, which has helped greatly to get disabled vehicles off the road and traffic moving.

  • Traffic is monitored through a project operations center that uses cameras, signs and vehicle detection devices to help with incident management.

  • Numerous Smart Work Zone systems and devices that warn motorists of backed up traffic, trucks entering and exiting the work zone and other incidents and activities have been deployed. 

  • Equipment has been staged by the contractor prior to large snow events to assist with snow operations and response issues.

  •  CDOT is holding bi-weekly meetings with emergency response agency partners to coordinate efforts on project operations and work zone safety.

  • Significant safety improvements made on the frontage roads from Larkspur to Castle Rock.

  •  Extensive public relations efforts including text alerts, social media, special media briefing events, paid advertising campaigns, public meetings, weekly e-blasts to stakeholders and regular meetings with stakeholders and elected officials are all helping keep the public up to date on the project.

  • Bustang routes and a ride-sharing program from Colorado Springs to the Denver Tech Center have been added to give motorists other travel options during construction.

  •  CDOT has provided a temporary extra lane for the Renaissance Festival to help alleviate traffic congestion during this 8-week event.

  • Portable Variable Speed Limit sign along the I-25 South Gap Project.

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones:

  • Do not speed in work zones; obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers; drive with caution.

  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts, and merge when directed to do so.

  • Be Patient!

Project Contact Information 

Project Hotline: 720-745-5435

Web: i25gap.codot.gov

Sign up for email updates: [email protected]

Text alerts: Text I25GAP to 21000

Project Facebook Page: Facebook.com/I25SouthGapProject