Our Colorado seems to be covered with cranes and construction cones. The growth might be felt most on the roads with traffic, so the Colorado Department of Transportation is trying to get ahead of the expected population increase in northern Colorado with an I-25 expansion project that started Sunday night.
Construction starts on I-25 on the 15 miles between Johnstown and Fort Collins to try and get ahead of the increasing number of cars expected by 2040. The population of Larimer County, currently at 316,000 residents, is expected to increase by 52 percent by 2040, according to the State Demography Office. Weld County’s population of 268,400 residents is expected to increase by 111 percent by 2040.
CDOT forecasts that this population growth will increase the number of vehicles making daily trips along the I-25 corridor by 60 percent in 2040.
To combat that, the $302 million project will:
- Increase highway capacity by adding an express lane in both directions
- Replace aging bridges and widen others
- Improve bus service performance and reduce each total trip time by 15 minutes by adding new bus slip ramps from I-25 to the new Park-n-ride at Kendall Parkway
- Create new pedestrian and bicycle access under I-25 at Kendall Parkway
- Connect the Cache la Poudre River Regional Trail under I-25 and network to 100 miles of trails, and also serve as a wildlife corridor
While most of the work will be done off the road, some nighttime lane closures may occur.
The goal is to make I-25 safer and more reliable and efficient by 2022.
For more information about the project, visit CDOT's project here.