Interstate 25 construction on North Gate Boulevard to begin next week
By Amber Baillie, Academy Spirit staff writer
/ Published July 12, 2013
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Construction to reconfigure the northbound and southbound exits from Interstate 25 to North Gate Boulevard is scheduled to begin Monday and will delay travel for those heading to and from the North Gate.
Loop ramps for Exit 156A and 156B will be removed to create a roundabout where the ramps intersect with North Gate Boulevard. The purpose of the new design is to regulate traffic flow from Interstate 25 to eastbound and westbound North Gate Boulevard, and is expected to be completed this fall.
"The main purpose for the roundabout will be to improve traffic flow through the area," said Bob Wilson, Colorado Department of Transportation public relations manager. "The idea is that people won't have to stop and will be able to travel in a continual motion."
During construction, loop ramps for both exits will remain open for traffic to access North Gate Boulevard. Access to and from the Academy will also be provided.
"Kiewit Infrastructure (contractor of the Interstate 25 expansion project) is developing plans to minimize the delay," said Martin Essigmann, the 10th Civil Engineer Squadron civil engineer section manager and project manager. "Everyone using this access should remember North Gate Boulevard will be an active construction zone and exercise caution. Plan ahead and allow extra time to account for construction delays."
Essigmann said some drivers may use the Academy's South Gate instead.
"Only authorized Academy users will be able to use the South Gate, thus this alternate entry point wouldn't benefit visitors," Essigmann said.
As plans for North Gate construction are finalized, CDOT and Kiewit will provide updates on the project website at www.southi25expansion.com, according to Essigmann.
"Be alert as you drive through the North Gate construction and slow down," Essigman said.
10th Security Forces Squadron Airmen are well aware of the traffic issues the project may pose to base commuters, said Senior Master Sgt. Shadd McKee, the 10th SFS operations superintendant.
"While the project is underway, we'll closely monitor traffic in and out of the north and south gate - just as we always do on a daily basis, McKee said. "We've also coordinated with the Colorado State Patrol in the event we have to respond and render assistance due to any traffic issues the round-about project may cause."
The North Gate construction is a part of the I-25 expansion project, a $66.4 million plan to add one lane in each direction of the interstate between Woodmen Road and State Highway 105 in Monument. Construction for the 11-mile expansion is expected to wrap-up at the end of 2013.