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Possible relief in sight for I-25 commuters stuck in perpetual gridlock

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Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 09:25:44-04

DENVER – Relief may be coming soon to Interstate 25 commuters who find themselves perpetually stuck in a notorious bottleneck.

Several metered lights installed on I-25 from the Santa Fe flyover to 20th Street could be reducing traffic turbulence along the congested corridor in as early as three months.

Many who travel the corridor can’t help but get sucked into the traffic back-up, which appears to begin at Santa Fe. The flyover opened in 2012 and allows for large groups of northbound traffic from Santa Fe to merge onto I-25.

However, this dumping of traffic contributes to the northbound bottleneck that begins at Santa Fe and doesn’t appear to clear up until 20th Street.

Traffic engineers from the Colorado Department of Transportation began to notice the back-ups, and started to install ramp meters at all major interchanges along the corridor.

The meters were first used in Colorado in 1984. Since then, the system has expanded to more than 100 on-ramps after proving to be effective at alleviating congestion.

CDOT was in a pinch when it came to resolving congestion along the corridor. Opportunities for adding capacity in that segment are limited and likely to be extremely costly, CDOT said. Improving traffic flow through ramp management had the most promise for providing some relief in the near term.

Although the meters are all in place, the system won’t be turned on until crews connect it to the fiber optic network enabling communication between the new ramp meters and the central system. CDOT hopes to have this done sometime in September of this year.