Drivers on U.S. 24, west of Manitou Springs, might want to schedule for longer commute times for the next month.
Starting tomorrow, the Colorado Department of Transportation will be building a concrete box culvert to handle flood waters near Waldo Canyon. The construction will take four weeks, and during that time there will only be one lane of traffic in each direction. The speed limit in the construction area will be reduced to 35 miles per hour. Vehicles wider than 12 feet will not be allowed to travel through the work area.
The construction comes as a response to increased flooding in the area due to the effects of the Waldo Canyon fire. The work was initially planned to start earlier, but CDOT decided to put it off until after the President's Day weekend.
In other U.S. 24 news, CDOT is moving ahead with plans to rebuild the Interstate 25 and U.S. 24 interchange. It is currently accepting letters of interest from companies and teams that would like to design and build the project. The long-envisioned project will upgrade the interchange from its original 1959 configuration to meet today's traffic needs. It will cost $95 million, including $5 million from the City of Colorado Springs and $1 million from El Paso County.
For more on the Waldo Canyon construction, read on:
Flood Mitigation Lane Closures Postponed
EL PASO COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is rescheduling the full closure of eastbound U.S. 24 on Ute Pass until after President’s Day Weekend. It was originally scheduled to close on Saturday.
Eastbound Highway 24 near Waldo Canyon now will be closed on the morning of Tuesday, February 18, with all traffic shifted over to the westbound lanes – one lane in each direction. The highway will remain in this configuration for about two weeks, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When work on the eastbound side is complete, all traffic will be moved to the eastbound lanes for another couple weeks, allowing construction on the westbound lanes.
During construction, a 35 mph speed limit will be in effect and vehicles wider than 12 feet will not be allowed to travel through the work zone.
The closure will allow an extra-large concrete box culvert to be installed underneath the highway. Measuring 24 feet wide and 10 feet high, the culvert will be ten times larger than the 72 inch metal pipe currently in use.
Preparation work continues Friday, with the left lane of eastbound and westbound Highway 24 closed for one mile from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: Drivers should expect possible slowdowns or delays through the area during the morning and evening rush hours.
“We anticipate a busy holiday weekend so we thought it would be best to move the closure until after President’s Day,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Dave Watt. “Delaying the work for a few days allows commuter and recreational traffic to flow smoothly to and from the mountains and we’ll still be able to complete the work in a timely manner.”
The $1.4 million project is scheduled for completion by April 30, 2014.