I-25/Cimarron Interchange Getting Facelift

A stretch of interstate notorious for crashes will be getting a facelift.

Officials unveiled the plans to change the I-25 and Cimarron interchange in an open house Tuesday night.

That stretch of roadway in south Colorado Springs has long been the site of significant--often even deadly--accidents. Two of the most notable ones happened a month apart in 2011. In October of that year, a semi-truck carrying lumber rolled after the driver lost control. A few weeks later, a truck driver was killed after his milk tanker overturned while navigating the curve in the interstate.

CDOT has done a number of things to try and prevent accidents there: the flashing warning signs, painted solid lines between lanes, lowered speed limit. None have proven successful in lowering the number of crashes in that spot. Speed isn't the only factor: drivers are also exiting and enter the interstate along that stretch.

Officials think a $96 million rebuild is the best answer. CDOT will start work on the interchange next spring.

"This is about reconstruction of the I-25/Cimarron interchange," Dave Watt with CDOT said at Tuesday's meeting. "It's about putting the highway in its proper location to provide a...safer facility, better operations and improve the access along the interstate and into the downtown Colorado Springs and west side communities.

"We know there us going to be some inconvenience; we hope people can bear with us and know we're trying to do what we can to minimize those inconveniences...find a quality product at the end of the project."

In addition to rebuilding a portion of I-25, the plans include restructuring some of the trails in the area along Fountain and Monument creeks.

The project is expected to be completed in 2017.