The interchange had been unchanged since its initial completion in 1966. Fort Collins Coloradoan
Interstate 25 and Prospect Road will be fully closed at the interchange this weekend as crews demolish the 54-year-old bridge spanning the interstate.
The closure runs from 9 p.m. Saturday through 9 a.m. Sunday.
Those driving on I-25 in either direction will be detoured at the Prospect Road off-ramps and continue to the on-ramps of the interstate. Those driving on Prospect Road will need to use either Mulberry Street (Colorado Highway 14) or Harmony Road to cross the interstate.
Last weekend, Prospect Road was closed to allow crews to switch traffic to the newly built section of the bridge.
When fully completed this year, the $31 million renovated interchange project will include the expanded bridge with two through lanes and center turn lanes in each direction, as well as bike and pedestrian lanes. The on- and off-ramps will be moved farther from the interstate and expand turn lanes in each direction.
The city of Fort Collins, town of Timnath and developers funded $19 million of the interchange cost while the Colorado Department of Transportation funded $12 million.
The interchange has not been updated since 1966, about the same time I-25 was reaching that part of the state. In 1965, 8 miles of I-25 was completed from U.S. Highway 34 to Harmony Road. In 1968, the 23-mile stretch from Harmony Road to Buckeye Road north of Fort Collins was completed.
Fort Collins’ population in 1966 was around 52,000 people. Today, the population is around 175,000 with many more people moving into the area and commuter traffic increasing dramatically.
The interchange is part of the $600 million I-25 North Express Lanes Project, which is adding an express travel lane in both directions from the Colorado Highway 56 exit near Berthoud to the Colorado 14 exit in Fort Collins. The project will also replace aging bridges, upgrade interchanges and improve regional transportation.
Guard rail installation
Starting the first week of May, CDOT contractor Scott Contracting will begin installing a cable tension barrier in the median of I-25.
The first segment will begin just north of Colorado 14 and continue past Wellington, according to CDOT. The second segment will start at the Wyoming border and stretch south for 7.5 miles.
The project will run through August. Travelers can expect reductions in speed, one-lane closures and shoulder closures during the project.
When struck by a vehicle, the steel cables redirect the vehicle into the median and prevent dangerous cross-median crashes. When struck, the cables strung on posts flex and absorb most of the kinetic energy.
The cable tension wires are less expensive and easier to fix than concrete barriers. If the barrier is damaged, the posts slide out easily to allow a new cable section to be installed more quickly.
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