CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- If you've driven the 17-mile stretch of Interstate 25 south between Castle Rock and Monument Hill, you know what a traffic nightmare it can be when the highway goes down to two lanes in each direction.
Which is why the Pikes Peak Council of Governments (PPACG) Board said it passed a resolution to make widening this section of highway its number one, highest regional priority.
“The I-25 ‘Gap’ must be addressed as soon as possible for the safety and economic development of the entire front range corridor” said Councilmember Andy Pico, PPACG Chairman.
"There are crashes in that area, that is something that we are aware of, there are road rages in that area," said Sgt. Rob Madden a spokesperson with Colorado State Patrol.
Trooper Jaimie Jursevics and Trooper Cody Donahue both died near this stretch of highway, which a PPACG spokeswoman said also played a role in their decision.
"We are here to support safe driving, and making the road as safe as it can be for motorists, knowing that, that is also our workplace," said Sgt. Madden.
The PPACG works alongside CDOT to identify priority transportation projects.
"We understand there's a critical need," said Amy Ford with CDOT.
Ford said CDOT has expedited a planning study on I-25 South to look at how those improvements should be made, but making changes is not that simple.
"We want to make sure that we can address it, but the question is how can we also find the funds," she said.
Ford said toll lanes are a possibility and the 17-mile gap could require some kind of public-private partnership, with an express lane in each direction. Similar to what was built on US 36 towards Boulder.
"The vehicle miles traveled continue to increase through that portion of Colorado," said Sgt. Madden.
CDOT said no decisions will be made until the planning study is complete in the next year.
"Realistically here, we're talking about several years before you'd actually see construction on the road," explained Ford.