There's no relief in sight for drivers making their way through the I-25 and Woodmen traffic snarl. The goal of the construction project is to improve safety by lengthening the on and off ramps. But even though crews have been working on the project for the past two years, the Colorado Department of Transportation says it's on schedule. That means drivers will have to deal with the traffic headaches for another year.
The Colorado State Patrol says accidents have increased dramatically at this intersection since construction began almost 2 years ago. Taxpayers wonder why they're paying $29 million for what appears to be a worsening problem. But C-DOT says, the problem isn't just I-25, it's all the traffic trying to get onto the interstate from Woodmen Road. "There's been an on-going problem with this southbound on-ramp. People in a hurry merge in or people trying to be nice slow down to let others on or they try to get over to the fast lane then they hit somebody."
Lengthening the on ramps to provide safer access to the interstate is what this project is all about. But it also means both north and southbound motorists will have to continue to share one southbound bridge for another year. C-DOT says it's a 42-stage process that can only proceed with one planned step at a time. "We have to stick with this configuration until we can get this northbound bridge built. The key to the whole project is this northbound bridge."
But C-DOT can't build the remaining bridge until it relocates the northbound on and off ramps. And they can't do that until they drop Woodmen Road by 5 feet. Project engineers have already relocated gas and electric lines and still have more work to do on water lines and storm drains before that can happen.
C-DOT also says it should be done with this project by this time next year. Until then, some 80,000 cars a day will continue to vie for space as they wind their way through the cone zone.