I-25 North Express Lanes: Mead to Fort Collins

About the Project

Now Open - Kechter Road over I-25

On Wednesday, May 18, Kechter Road over I-25 reopened to traffic. The bridge, closed for the past seven months for reconstruction, will not only alleviate congestion on these other two interstate crossings, but it is more resilient to flooding, provides multimodal options and offers an alternate northbound and southbound route parallel to I-25 and another route to get to CO 392 rather than I-25. 

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The new bridge is a little higher than the old structure, enabling crews to raise the elevation of I-25 and add two new bridges south of Kechter Road spanning the floodplain to allow the next 100-year flood event to pass without affecting I-25. The bridge also features sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and bike lanes in both directions, and a roundabout constructed connects the West Frontage Road to Kechter Road just west of I-25, providing a safer intersection for all users than what existed previously.

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Additional work done in the last seven months included building large retaining walls on both sides of I-25 to contain the new widened footprint of I-25. The new structure was also lengthened to 226 feet to accommodate the additional toll lane in each direction of I-25. Making all these improvements took a fair amount of effort and materials including:

  • 16,475 cubic yards of material was used for the roadway embankment, enough to fill five Olympic sized swimming pools
  • 18 box girders – each 112 feet long – were set for the bridge
  • 2,500 tons of asphalt was put down
  • 27,697 square feet of retaining walls were built
  • 736 cubic yards of concrete was used for the bridge construction
  • 158,069 pounds of reinforced steel was used, or the weight of approximately forty Ford F-150s
  • 756 linear feet of pile was driven for the bridge foundations

Learn More About Changes to Local Frontage Roads

Fall 2021 Project Update Video

The I-25 North Express Lanes Project crews have been hard at work this summer and fall. Check out this video to see all the progress that's been made so far in 2021!

Great Western Railroad Bridge Time Lapse 

The Great Western Railroad Bridge was constructed in two phases/halves offline about 20 feet south of the railroad alignment. Once constructed, the existing halves of the bridge were removed and the newly constructed portions were rolled into place. This timelapse shows the western portion of the bridge going into place. Due to the unique phasing of the roadway work, no I-25 lane closures were needed to either construct the new bridge or demolish the old structure.

I-25 North and US 34 Traffic Phasing

Have you ever wondered how crews on the I-25 North Express Lanes Project are able to build a new highway without closing the existing highway? When traveling through the I-25 North Express Lanes project, motorists are often navigating a series of intricate traffic shifts. The traffic shifts allow crews to safely maintain traffic and complete the construction in phases. This graphic highlights the traffic phasing at I-25 North and US 34 in Loveland. Work in this area began along the median in fall 2019. In Spring 2020, all traffic was shifted to the southbound lanes so that construction could take place on the northbound lanes. This year, crews are working in the median again. Finally, traffic will shift to the northbound lanes while crews build the southbound lanes. When navigating these work areas, please remember to be patient, drive distraction free and always and slow for the cone zone.

Click the timeline above or use the arrows to explore the traffic phases.

There’s no denying that our daily lives have changed drastically in the last two weeks, and in some cases, lives have been turned upside down. Many sacrifices are being made from closing businesses and schooling children at home to canceling events and moving work operations to our homes where possible.

While telecommuting might work for some occupations, construction clearly isn’t one of those. Without people physically on-site to do the work, the I-25 North Express Lanes from Berthoud to Fort Collins would never become a reality. But while road work is progressing, for now, that’s not to say it is totally business as usual on the job site.

Here are some of the things work crews are doing a little differently these days:

  • Crew members are refraining from going into jobsite trailers or project offices unless absolutely necessary, and when they have to, they aren’t doing so in groups.
  • Daily safety briefings are being done with just a couple of people rather than the entire crew.
  • Paperwork is being done in the cab of pickup trucks and daily logs of work activities filled out at home.
  • Project management meetings are being conducted via phone.
  • Everyone is being told to NOT report to work if they feel ill, and anyone who doesn’t feel well on the job is immediately sent home.
  • All office staff and non-essential personnel who can work from home are doing so.
  • Though all workers in the field wear gloves, hand tools are being cleaned more vigilantly and workers are instructed to wash or sanitize their hands after removing gloves.
  • Workers are bringing their own water bottle to the jobsite to avoid using a common water cooler.
  • Portable restrooms are being sanitized more frequently.
  • Steering wheels and machinery equipment controls are being wiped down, particularly if different people will be moving in and out of the equipment throughout the day.

View Traffic Impacts for the I-25 North Express Lanes Project

Communities along the north I-25 corridor are expanding rapidly, contributing to major economic growth in northern Colorado. The Colorado Department of Transportation will support this growth by delivering the I-25 North Express Lanes Project. This project will extend from Highway 56 in Mead to Mulberry Street in Fort Collins.

This project brings economic, environmental and quality of life benefits for northern Coloradans by:

 Making safety improvements to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities.

 Decreasing travel time and increasing trip reliability.

 Reducing emissions and improving freight efficiency.

 Employing congestion management and safety technology to improve the travel experience.

 Rebuilding aging and obsolete infrastructure.

 Improving bicycle, pedestrian and transit connectivity.


Additional Resources

Learn more about the corridor improvements by clicking on the areas below:

Express Lanes: Northbound and southbound Express Lanes with HOV option will be added from US 56 to just past Prospect Road

 Timeline

  • Construction began between CO 402 and Mulberry in 2018
  • Work between CO 56 to CO 402 is expected to begin construction in late 2019
  • Once more funding is identified and secured, construction will begin from CO 66 to CO 56