I-25 Safety & Efficiency Improvements Component

About the I-25 Safety & Efficiency Improvements Component

General project information: I-25 is the backbone of Colorado’s vehicular mobility and freight movement and is the major north to south transportation corridor in Colorado Springs. The improvements to I-25 addressed in this project are located along an approximately 7.5-mile segment of the corridor beginning at South Academy Boulevard and extending to the Santa Fe Avenue (CO 85/87) exit at Fountain (mile marker 128), which exits to Gate 19 of Fort Carson.

The improvements to this segment of the I-25 corridor include:

  • Replacement of two bridges crossing over South Academy Boulevard,
  • Widening of both inside and outside shoulders and installing safety improvements,
  • Concrete surface treatment overlay to provide an improved riding surface for this 7.5‐mile segment,
  • Installation of median barriers the entire length of this corridor,
  • Maintenance work on four bridges along the corridor,
  • Installation of deceleration lane at the interchange with CO 16

Work this Week & Lane Closures I-25 Safety & Efficiency

Project Facts

  • Construction Cost: $161 million total for all components, with contributions from Colorado Department of Transportation, El Paso County, Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, and a federal BUILD grant.
  • Contractor: SEMA Construction, Inc.
  • Timeline: Construction start spring 2022; Completion end of 2024
  • Location: I-25
    • Nearest Town/City: Colorado Springs to Fountain
    • Mile Point(s): 135-128
    • County(s): El Paso

Project Benefits

Collectively, this work to the I-25 corridor will significantly improve safety through reduction in accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Replacement of bridges which have exceeded their useful life, as well as maintenance to more minor bridges along the corridor, will reduce scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and repairs on these infrastructure assets. In addition, introduction of the deceleration lane at the CO 16 interchange. Undertaking these improvements to I-25 will effectively improve mobility and safety outcomes along one of the state’s busiest interstate corridors while concurrently ensuring economic vitality provided by this crucial north to south route is maintained.

Bridge Replacements

The bridges are located at mile post 135 and crosses over South Academy Boulevard. Built in 1971, the paired bridges have spans of approximately 150 feet, accommodate more than 65,000 vehicles each day, and are at the end of their design lives.

Replacement of these bridges will result in significant reductions in operations and maintenance
costs over the life of these assets and ensure reliability for passenger and freight and vehicles utilizing
the corridor. These replacement bridges will be designed for a 75 to 100-year life.

Shoulder Widening

CDOT will widen both the inside and outside shoulders along the I-25 corridor between the Santa Fe and South Academy Boulevard interchanges. The inside shoulders and the outside shoulders will be widened. Widening the shoulders will reduce accidents where there is currently guardrail placed at 4 feet from the lanes. This will reduce the occurrence of cars hitting the guardrail and bouncing back into the travel lanes. This augmentation of the shoulders will improve safety along the corridor by allowing more room for emergency maneuvers and providing safer refuge for stopped vehicles and work crews. Shoulder construction will enable an efficient conversion to driving lanes if additional lanes are warranted in the future.

Surface Treatment Concrete Overlay

Concrete pavement overlay will be applied to the I-25 pavement surface from south of the Santa Fe Avenue interchange to the South Academy Boulevard interchange. Existing asphalt pavement along this 7.5-mile corridor shows signs of substantial pavement distress, including visible signs of longitudinal cracking, high levels of transverse cracking, and rutting. The aging pavement surface requires constant maintenance, with costs continuing to escalate.

The surface treatment will result in a significant reduction in maintenance costs and asset renewal costs when compared to the existing pavement or an asphalt overlay. Furthermore, concrete pavement will ensure a substantially longer state of good repair for the lanes and augmented shoulders. Construction of the surface treatment will be accomplished in three phases, enabling two continuous lanes of traffic in each direction during construction.

Median Barrier Installation

The 7.5-mile corridor of I-25 has experienced a significant number of safety incidents over the past decades, including 18 fatalities recorded over the past five years. Many of these fatal accidents have been the result of head on collisions or vehicles veering into the median between the two directions of traffic and flipping over. CDOT will use a cost-efficient corridor treatment to mitigate against future traffic accidents of this type by installing median barriers for the entire length of the corridor between South Academy Boulevard and Fountain.

Barriers in the medians will include both cable and permanent barriers and will be complemented by guardrails installed next to the outside shoulder along the corridor where they are not already in place.

Deceleration Lane at CO 16 Interchange

Gate 20 to Fort Carson, located west of the I-25 interchange with CO 16, is used by many of the Fort Carson personnel entering the post from south of Colorado Springs. This is in part a function of the poor condition of Charter Oak Ranch Road (reconstruction of which is another component of the Military Access, Mobility & Safety Improvement Project (MAMSIP). Peak hour demand to enter Gate 20 often results in traffic queues which back up on I-25 and CO 16 off-ramps.

Work Schedule

  • Work will last through end of 2024
  • Normal working hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Some overnight and weekend work is expected

Traffic Impacts

  • Single nighttime lane closures, ramp closures, and lane shifts on I-25 during the week. There are no planned closures during weekends or holidays.
  • Traffic on I-25 will be head-to-head, separated by temporary barrier with 11 ft. lanes and 2 ft. shoulders
  • The speed limit in this area has been reduced.
    Slight traffic delays are expected.
  • Refer to COtrip.org for real-time travel conditions and road closures.