CDOT will begin work on ramp meter-installations the week of August 5 to help alleviate severe congestion along I-25 in the downtown area.
Each day, hundreds of drivers sit in northbound traffic on I-25 near downtown Colorado Springs as they try to get home from work. The slowdown is largely caused by the influx of vehicles trying to merge all at once from the on-ramps. Ramp metering is meant to help.
Michelle Peulen with CDOT says they have been working on this for years. With Colorado Springs’ growth in population they decided to implement it now to help prevent more traffic congestion and accidents. Peulen says, “It basically comes down to safety, with more congestion we start seeing those crashes. So this will be a way for us to safely control how folks enter the interstates.”
What is ramp metering?
Ramp metering is where red and green lights are installed at interstate on-ramps to signal at peak times when cars can merge — think of them as bouncers trying to keep the bar from becoming too crowded.
“You’re looking at a two-second red, two-second green, probably up to a 10-second red,” said CDOT engineer Jason Nelson.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, ramp metering is one of the most cost-effective freeway management strategies.
What will the construction project look like?
Crews will be installing ramp-metering devices at 12 different locations along the I-25 corridor in Colorado Springs. This project has been contracted for $2.5 million to Main Electric.
The ramp-metering devices have multiple benefits, according to CDOT. They “will make the road safer by improving traffic flow and safety by providing more gaps for merging traffic, provide automated monitoring, will be triggered by I-25 average running speed, and will use technology to monitor the queue and control the flow of traffic.”
The devices will be installed at 12 different on-ramp locations including:
South Academy Boulevard to NB I-25 West Bijou Street to NB I-25 W. Uintah Street to SB I-25 W. Uintah Street to NB I-25 Fontanero Street to NB I-25 Fontanero Street to SB I-25 Fillmore Street to SB I-25 Fillmore Street to NB I-25 Garden of the Gods Road to NB I-25 Garden of the Gods Road to SB I-25 South Rockrimmon Boulevard to SB I-25 Nevada Avenue to NB I-25
The ramp-metering installations are part of a larger CDOT construction initiative called Whole System — Whole Safety. The initiative’s goal is to improve transportation safety by implementing measures that address systematic driving behaviors.
Construction work will run Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Work is expected to be completed by early summer 2020.
Drivers should expect closures on the on-ramps with occasional nighttime [7 p.m. to 6 a.m.] lane closures. Work is expected to begin from the southernmost, east side ramp and work towards the north, before crossing over to the western side and looping back south.
CDOT reminds drivers to slow down in work zones, stay alert, and watch for workers. They suggest not changing lanes unnecessarily, avoid using mobile devices in work zones, and allow ample space between yourself and the car in front of you.
If you have questions regarding the project and how it might impact your commute, you can visit the project website here, call (719) 235-6603, or email .