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Old 07-23-2019, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
5,193 posts, read 5,344,238 times
Reputation: 18583

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I know we have a separate thread regarding the 18 mile I-25 gap under construction between Monument and Castle Rock, but I've created this one to focus on the hazard due to that project plan. I think it is exceedingly dangerous and I am currently using highway 83 in lieu of getting trapped in that forbidden gap. Another article alluded to an average of 3 accidents per day happening in that gap.

Drivers beware.

https://gazette.com/news/larkspur-fi...590fd8eaa.html

"No one was seriously hurt in the two-car crash that was waiting for Campagnola and his crew on March 4.

But Larkspur firefighters dread the day when they can’t get to someone who’s suffered life-threatening injuries in a wreck because they are stuck in traffic like everyone else on I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock, where crews broke ground last September on a four-year widening project.

“Somebody is going to die,” said Charles Walden of Larkspur Fire Protection District.

“It’s not an if, it’s when,” added District Chief Stuart Mills. “If we don’t have access, we may not get there in time.”

Larkspur Fire helps Colorado State Patrol respond to crashes on about 14 miles of the 18-mile work zone, known as the I-25 ‘Gap.’ Sometimes, firefighters make it to the accidents before troopers, who also get delayed by congestion, Walden said.

The district, with an annual budget of about $2.9 million, serves about 7,000 residents across 100 square miles.

Mills wrote Gov. Jared Polis in April, requesting that the Colorado Department of Transportation identify better access routes, re-evaluate the construction plan and take other measures before “a tragic and avoidable loss of life” occurs.

CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said the state fulfilled some of those requests and has gone “above and beyond” to improve traffic flow in the construction area.

The speed limit, initially lowered from 75 mph to 65 mph, was dropped again to 60 mph in response to Larkspur Fire’s concerns, she said.

Electronic signs have been installed so that the speed limit can be further reduced when traffic is heavy.

As of the end of May, crashes in the I-25 Gap were up more than 50 percent since construction began last fall. Most of the wrecks that accounted for that increase only resulted in property damage, not injury or death, according to data from State Patrol.

But in Larkspur and Greenland, there are no frontage or side roads to get to the interstate. The highway is bordered by rocks, ravines, steep slopes, and hallmarks of foothills terrain that firetrucks and ambulances can’t navigate.


In the most rural part of the Gap, crews are erecting concrete barriers, shifting traffic, and shutting down lanes overnight. The Colorado Renaissance Festival, which creates an annual summertime traffic nightmare in Larkspur, is adding to the dilemma.

“It all comes down to access,” Mills said. “We don’t have any alternate routes to get to an incident on the interstate.”

Facing traffic snarls, Larkspur Fire has seen its response times rise. In the fist six months of this year, the department’s top 30 longest response times for calls to I-25 averaged about 21 minutes. That average was about 13.5 minutes in the first half of 2018.

About a month ago, crews spent more than 40 minutes trying to get to a crash on I-25 that they could have gotten to in about 10 minutes if the road wasn’t so congested, one firefighter recalled.

Often, calls come in one after another.

On July 14, in less than two hours, the department responded to a report of a medical emergency at a local home, an accident on I-25, and another medical-related incident at the Renaissance Festival. Then, they were again called to the interstate."
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:50 AM
 
734 posts, read 388,091 times
Reputation: 1133
I've heard people actually commute on that stretch between C/S and Denver- my sanity is more important that trying to save a few grand on a house (on the North Side of C/S of course).

83 is not much better esp. on weekends now. There will be 2-3 light cycles at the major intersections since everyone else has the same idea- avoid I-25. Then you have the trucks and slow pokes at the head of the line and you are not getting anywhere quickly.

It is still quicker to take I-25 even if you go 35 mph all the way to Castle Rock (which is probably the average speed now).
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,320 posts, read 2,374,794 times
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Talking to a contractor on this project recently, CDOT has no qualms about further reducing the speed limit to reduce accidents, which is about the only alternative they have since access can't be improved due to congestion and construction.

Agree that 83 is no longer a decent alternative. The plethora of stop lights at the south end in El Paso county and the north end between Franktown and in Parker, negate any ground made up in between at 65 mph. I'd much rather do a consistent 45-50 mph on the Interstate.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Denver via Austin
3,325 posts, read 6,714,186 times
Reputation: 4099
If people in Douglas County didn't tailgate so aggressively, no jams would occur past the bottleneck. If shockwaves occur beyond an area of lane reduction, it means that so many people are following so closely that a chain reaction of overreactions causes traffic to slow from 60 mph to 0.

I lasted four weeks on that project before I quit my job due to health and safety concerns, and I have no problem saying that the CDOT guy who was in charge of traffic control at the time was a clueless jerk. That said, there's only so much you can do with construction phasing when widening a road. You have to take out the shoulders in order to widen the road. And there's nothing you can do to calm down Douglas County drivers. I saw an eight car pileup on a perfectly clear, dry morning on a completely straight section of the road, and you have to be extremely careful that no one changes lanes into you.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,419 times
Reputation: 26
Default please avoid i-25 if possible

Unfortunately I'm another one to be added to the list of i-25 gap accidents.

This morning, I was nearing Castle Rock headed to work in DTC, I was on the left lane (of two), when a semi-truck tried to come directly into my line and noticed too late that he had crashed into my right side. I tried to evade but there was nothing but concrete barriers on my left, which I ended up slightly hitting to avoid more impact. Thankfully I was ok and only have back pain but it was definitely a traumatizing event.
Guess what the highway patrol said? No one is at fault since there is not enough evidence the truck came into my lane and hit me. What do you guys think when looking at the picture of my car?

I'm looking at local or remote jobs now. I can't keep putting my life in danger even though I've been driving to Denver since November. It just seems to be getting worse every day.

https://i.imgur.com/XkqiLuGl.jpg
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:43 PM
 
5,527 posts, read 7,512,338 times
Reputation: 5409
Bummer, You might be more sore tomorrow - that often happens with these kinds of things. So take it easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndresjavier View Post
Unfortunately I'm another one to be added to the list of i-25 gap accidents.

This morning, I was nearing Castle Rock headed to work in DTC, I was on the left lane (of two), when a semi-truck tried to come directly into my line and noticed too late that he had crashed into my right side. I tried to evade but there was nothing but concrete barriers on my left, which I ended up slightly hitting to avoid more impact. Thankfully I was ok and only have back pain but it was definitely a traumatizing event.
Guess what the highway patrol said? No one is at fault since there is not enough evidence the truck came into my lane and hit me. What do you guys think when looking at the picture of my car?

I'm looking at local or remote jobs now. I can't keep putting my life in danger even though I've been driving to Denver since November. It just seems to be getting worse every day.

https://i.imgur.com/XkqiLuGl.jpg
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:44 PM
 
5,527 posts, read 7,512,338 times
Reputation: 5409
People rarely mention 105 but it is another alternative to I-25 in addition to 83.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,008 posts, read 582,811 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
People rarely mention 105 but it is another alternative to I-25 in addition to 83.
A somewhat long but wonderful drive.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:34 PM
 
734 posts, read 388,091 times
Reputation: 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndresjavier View Post
Unfortunately I'm another one to be added to the list of i-25 gap accidents.

This morning, I was nearing Castle Rock headed to work in DTC, I was on the left lane (of two), when a semi-truck tried to come directly into my line and noticed too late that he had crashed into my right side. I tried to evade but there was nothing but concrete barriers on my left, which I ended up slightly hitting to avoid more impact. Thankfully I was ok and only have back pain but it was definitely a traumatizing event.
Guess what the highway patrol said? No one is at fault since there is not enough evidence the truck came into my lane and hit me. What do you guys think when looking at the picture of my car?

I'm looking at local or remote jobs now. I can't keep putting my life in danger even though I've been driving to Denver since November. It just seems to be getting worse every day.

https://i.imgur.com/XkqiLuGl.jpg
Don't blame you- life is too short to worry about that drive every day.

I hate just thinking of going to my hometown (north of Denver) every few weeks to help my mom out with the Honey Do's.

I go up on weekends and usually get slowed on the Gap and then near downtown Denver on I-25 / Sante Fe. Usually bumper to bumper until Thornton then it thins out once you get past the toll lane.

When I get off at I-25/Longmont (exit 243 RMNP) you can see the brake lights again heading north to Ft. Collins when I-25 goes from 3 lanes down to 2.

Best news is they are getting a toll lane too!
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:52 PM
 
Location: The 719
15,025 posts, read 22,956,262 times
Reputation: 14171
I have no sympathy for the denizens of Briarwood-CoSprings aka Denver South to folks up the Front Range all the way to Fort Collins aka Denver North.

That 18 mile gap used to be one of the more tranquil and beautiful parts of Colorado.

If people didn't drive like such selfish idiots, you wouldn't have that mess.
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