DENVER - Significant closures will affect Interstate 25 through the heavily-traveled metro area between August 8 and 10.
Colorado Department of Transportation plans call for full closures of the interstate in both directions between Santa Fe and 6th Avenue on Friday night, and from Saturday night to all day Sunday. It will be open in both directions during the day Saturday.
"Realistically, the best bet is to cross I-25 off the list for that weekend and use alternative modes of transportation or alternate routes," CDOT Project Director Kevin Sullivan said in a statement posted to the CDOT website.
"We really ask people to think creatively about how they want to get around town and look to avoid I-25," CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford told 7NEWS.
This major closure will allow crews to work on the "Gap Lane Project" that will make room for an extra northbound lane by narrow all existing lanes and shoulders. CDOT says the extra lane will help to improve traffic flow.
Northbound traffic slows down throughout the day approaching Santa Fe, even though the Santa Fe overpass is no longer under construction. The far right lane ends just before the Santa Fe traffic merges onto I-25.
"We have just enough width to literally pull up the pavement striping, restripe in a fourth lane between about Alameda and Sixth Avenue," said Ford. "But to do that work, we actually have to shut down the entire roadway for one weekend to get it all in and everything moved around."
"Why does southbound need to be closed?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.
"In order for us to add this new lane, we are restriping, but we're also, actually, moving the median barrier," said Ford.
Ford also said construction crews will be demolishing the north bridge of US 6 over I-25. That work would normally require the highway to be closed overnight on 20 different nights.
CDOT calls the Gap Lane Project a temporary fix for congestion along the corridor, but has stated that a long-term solution will not come until funding is available to make permanent improvements to I-25 between Alameda and US 6.
During the same weekend, CDOT is planning for closures on I-25 at the 88th Avenue Bridge. Crews in that area are lowering the roadway.
"We've carefully picked (next) weekend to do this construction because there are no Broncos activities; the Broncos have their free practice the weekend before, (the) Rockies are playing the weekend later and so this is the sweet spot," said Ford.
TRAVEL IMPACTS - Local detour routes for the full I-25 closure include the following:
Northbound I-25 will detour to northbound Santa Fe Drive, continue north to 8th Avenue, west on 8th Avenue to Kalamath Street, and south on Kalamath Street to westbound US 6 to reconnect with northbound I-25.
Southbound I-25 will detour west on US 6 to Federal Boulevard, south on Federal Boulevard to 5th Avenue to merge onto eastbound US 6, and east on US 6 to reconnect with southbound I-25. There could also be delays along eastbound US 6 near I-25 with additional traffic following this detour route.
Northbound Santa Fe Drive: In conjunction with this closure, northbound Santa Fe Drive will close just south of I-25 over the weekend, with traffic detoured on Mississippi Avenue to northbound Broadway and eventually Lincoln Street. Access to businesses along Santa Fe Drive will be available via Alameda Avenue. Detour signage will guide commuters through the area.
"We can't emphasize this strongly enough: avoid this area of I-25 during these closures if at all possible," said Kevin Sullivan, CDOT project director. "We expect extensive backups, prolonged travel delays and excessive traffic congestion if traffic numbers reach normal Sunday volumes."
For more detail on the CDOT project and detours, use this link: ch7ne.ws/1oTJqzc