I-25 South Gap Express Lanes open for testing Friday, Dec. 10

Travel Advisory

December 8, 2021 - Southeastern Colorado - Drivers can can use the new lanes with tolls waived

DOUGLAS/EL PASO COUNTIES - Drivers will be able to use the new Express Lanes on the I-25 South Gap project by 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10. There is one new Express Lane in each direction on I-25 between Castle Rock and Monument. Tolls are currently being waived as the project opened the lanes far ahead of schedule.

“Opening the Express Lanes early improves safety and travel reliability on the I-25 South Gap corridor,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Commuters will have reliable travel times over the long-term, and experience a vastly improved stretch of I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock. Whether commuting to work or traveling the state, drivers will reach their destinations quicker and safer. We are thrilled to open the Express Lanes a year ahead of schedule and within budget.”

While improvements were made throughout the entire 18-mile I-25 South Gap project corridor, the Express Lanes will span 14 miles on northbound I-25 and 15 miles on southbound I-25. Motorists can use these lanes when they open to the public on Friday, Dec. 10. Following the opening of these lanes, the Colorado State Patrol will have increased enforcement from Castle Rock and Monument.

The Express Lanes are designed to provide drivers a reliable trip while relieving traffic for all roadway users. Statewide studies show that on CDOT’s Express Lanes corridors, travelers in all lanes (including the regular lanes) see time savings of anywhere from 20-50%.

Using the Express Lanes safely

During the testing period, before tolling is in place, drivers are encouraged to use the Express Lanes free of charge, and can enter through the dashed white lines northbound two miles north of County Line Road and at Larkspur, or southbound just south of Castle Rock and Larkspur. Tolls will be temporarily waived during this time to ensure system and technological performance. When using the lanes, drivers are reminded to not cross the solid white lines; enter and exit at the designated areas only, shown with a white dotted line; and obey posted speed limits. The Express Lanes cannot be used to pass slower moving vehicles. During a snowstorm, it is possible there will be safety closures including the Express Lanes.

Remaining construction work

While much of the construction is complete including the Express Lanes, wider shoulders, five reconstructed bridges, four wildlife crossings, new pavement and enhanced technology, other work remains to be done. Through the spring and summer of 2022, crews will finish the remaining permanent paving and striping operations near Larkspur, tolling infrastructure and other minor construction activities to reach project completion. Motorists should expect various overnight lane closures, including the Express Lanes, while the last of the construction wraps up. The project is scheduled to be completely finished by November 2022.

Media staging area for live shots or to get video

To get footage of motorists using the Express Lanes on Friday, Dec. 10, please use this Google Maps pin or follow the directions below for access to the southbound I-25 chain-up station near Larkspur. Please be mindful of weather conditions.

From Denver:

  • Travel on southbound I-25
  • Get into the right lane when you reach the Upper Lake Gulch Road interchange (Exit 172)
  • Stay in the right lane and travel south on I-25 for roughly a half-mile until you reach the media staging area

From Colorado Springs:

  • Take northbound I-25 and exit at Upper Lake Gulch Road (Exit 172)
  • Take two left turns to enter southbound I-25
  • Stay in the right lane and travel south on I-25 for roughly a half-mile until you reach the media staging area

For more information