I-25 Gap Project already causing headaches for drivers, businesses

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The Interstate 25 Gap Project is officially underway. It's already causing headaches for not just drivers but nearby businesses.

It's day one of the project, and folks in Castle Rock are bracing for the long road ahead.

“It ’ll alleviate traffic, but I know in the interim it's going to be a pain for a lot of people,” Leslie Wassam told Denver 7’s Tom Mustin.

Tuesday, construction began on the two-year, $300 million project. The 18-mile expansion will add an extra toll lane in both directions of I-25 from Monument to just south of the Plum Creek exit in Castle Rock — a stone's through from Stumpy's New York Pizza.

“This being right in my backyard. I don't like it,” owner Jeremy Stumpf told Mustin.

He says a big part of his business comes from deliveries. Traffic is a major concern.

“There's nothing like unhappy, hungry customers, “ he laughed.

Stumpf is worried the massive construction project will take a bite out of his pizza and wings demand.

“I’m concerned it's going to back up traffic to the point of affecting my business for us getting out to our guests and our guests getting here,” he said.

Amy Ford with the Colorado Department of Transportation says the project will ease gridlock on one of the state's most congested stretches of highway. She says there will be some traffic, but all construction will take place at night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. to minimize the effect on local businesses.

“We work very hard to maintain access to all businesses at all times, “ said Ford. “Two lanes in each direction will be open during the day. Our focus is to keep people moving during the construction and get it done as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Jeremy says he understands the need for the project. He's hoping his customers won't be spooked by a two-year detour to grab a slice.

“With a town like this that's constantly growing,  you've got kind of roll with the punches, unfortunately.”

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