Work begins this week on the first major piece of the I-25 North Express Lanes Johnstown to Fort Collins project. CDOT says crews will start construction to rebuild the Colorado Highway 402 and I-25 interchange.
"That interchange is getting completely changed," said CDOT spokesperson Jared Fiel.
Currently, Highway 402 goes under I-25 and has only one lane in each direction. The highway, which will also be widened, will be rebuilt so vehicles travel over the interstate.
"I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s the worst darn spot in all of Colorado," Fiel said. "Any time around rush hour you’re going to be cycling though four or five lights to get through there."
Work to widen the interstate near 402 come in phases. In the first phase, traffic will be shifted to the northbound lanes while temporary infrastructure is built on the southbound side. Phase two will see traffic shifted to the southbound lanes while work is done on the northbound side. And finally, in phase three, traffic will be shifted back to the northbound lanes to complete work on the southbound side.
This is all part of the $350 million north I-25 expansion that will add toll lanes in each direction from Johnstown to Fort Collins. CDOT is waiting on the outcome of two transportation propositions on the November ballot to determine if all plans will move forward.
One of the more unique aspects of the project is the construction of a bus station in the middle of I-25 near Loveland. Riders can park at a new park-and-ride at Kendall Parkway, then walk under the interstate to access the bus station.
"This will be a first for Colorado," Fiel said. He added that this could reduce the commute on the Bustang from Fort Collins to Denver by 15 minutes.
According to a news release from CDOT, the following impacts should be expected during the 402 interchange work:
- Weather dependent, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Monday, Oct. 22, the southbound off-ramp to CO 402 will be closed. (Detour: Take southbound I-25 to exit 254, east to southeast Frontage Road, north back to CO 402.)
- From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and Tuesday, Oct. 23, the southbound on-ramp from CO 402 to I-25 will be closed. (Detour: Take CO 402, south on the southeast Frontage Road for three miles to CO 60 in Johnstown, back onto southbound I-25.)
- In summer 2019, crews will close CO 402 between the I-25 ramps for 120 days. Look for more details in spring. Once re-opened, CO 402 will span I-25.