Transportation leaders, elected officials and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) broke ground Monday morning on the I-25 North Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins project.
The project, estimated to conclude in early 2022, 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 I25 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.
“We know without question societies flourish with unobstructed travel. When you have logistical connections good things happen and your economy keeps growing,” said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
Five years ago, CDOT, leaders from Weld and Larimer counties, Berthoud, Fort Collins, Johnstown, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor and McWhinney came together to find ways to fix congestion, safety and travel times on North I-25.
“When I first started with this project, I was told you cannot put funding in that and we won’t ever get that built. In 2018, we are here to kickoff this project,” said Johnny Olson, CDOT Regional Transportation Director. “This project is going to be important to Northern Colorado (improving) congestion, mobility. With our partners and everyone in the audience today, this is an amazing feat and I’m fortunate to be proud of it.”
The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (NCLA) and it’s Fix North I-25 initiative also played a crucial role to secure funding, communicate the economic importance of a functional I-25 corridor and empowered businesses and the public to get involved.
“This day has been a long time coming. This roadway is critically important to the safety, quality of life and economy of Northern Colorado,” said David May, Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO and member of Fix North I-25 steering committee.
May thanked the transportation commission, CDOT and town and city leaders.
“I want to thank the business community. We have 100 investors who have put in dollars for our efforts. They clearly get this and stepped up behind us in a big way,” said May.
The Ground Breaking Ceremony was held at the Colorado 402 exit near a gravel hill deemed Mount 402. The materials that will be used for the project where taken from the debris from the 2013 flood in the Big Thompson Canyon.
For more information on the I-25 North Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins project, costs and how to sign up for updates, click here.
Photos Courtesy of Zebrajellyfish Photography