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Community Leaders Celebrate Start of I-25 North Berthoud-Johnstown Improvements

GREELEY, CO — The next phase of I-25 improvements along the Northern Front Range recently kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) I-25 North Express Lanes project between Berthoud and Johnstown. Construction begins this month on reconstructing the southbound I-25 bridge over Little Thompson River, as well as elongating the southbound on-ramp from Colorado Highway 56 to allow for a safer merge.

In conjunction with improvements already underway between Johnstown and Fort Collins, this project will provide better connections between the Denver area and the Northern Front Range and link drivers to safer, time-saving mobility choices.

“Traffic congestion erodes travel time reliability, increases traffic on local roads, decreases motorist safety and compromises the ability of emergency responders to respond quickly,” said CDOT’s Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “CDOT is determined to make all roads safer in Colorado, and this project is one of the ways we are improving traffic safety now.”

Along with local and state officials, students from Ivy Stockwell Elementary were on-hand to help break ground.

“Each of these students is enrolled in the STEM program and are dedicated to learning more about engineering and sciences — something we all know we need more of,” said Heather Paddock, Regional Transportation Director for Northeast Colorado. “We are so excited to involve these students in today’s ceremony as a symbol of the future. Connecting the present construction to future generations will position the I-25 North corridor to be a viable roadway to use for years to come.”

When the project is complete in 2023, it will add an Express Lane in each direction of I-25, replace aging bridges, make interchanges safer and more efficient and improve infrastructure for bus transit along the I-25 corridor. The $250-million project will also add carpool and transit facilities, create new pedestrian and bicycle access, improve drainage systems and improve the alignment of I-25 for safer travel as part of CDOT’s Whole System – Whole Safety initiative. The section of I-25 from Mead to Berthoud will start in the future, once funding is identified and becomes available.

This project illustrates the power of communities working together to secure necessary funding as the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization, with support from CDOT, secured a $20-million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant, combined with state funds and money from local jurisdictions, provided the resources needed to proceed with design and construction of this 5.5-mile stretch of highway.

The BUILD grant criteria include improving public safety and quality life, improving the economy through the movement of goods, keeping transportation facilities in a state of good repair and use of innovation and partnerships.

During construction, two lanes of traffic on I-25 will be maintained in each direction during peak travel times, but drivers can expect overnight lane closures in the area. In addition, lane and shoulder widths will be minimized and speed limits will be reduced.
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