COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - It's Monday Madness on the interstate. For drivers who commute between Monument and the Woodmen Road exit on Interstate 25, the start to the week is also the start to their traffic headache.
Dropping temperatures are a sign winter is around the corner and so is the deadline for the I-25 expansion project.
"I come down from Monument down I-25 to the Fillmore exit every morning," said driver Eric Raanot. "It's about 25 minutes. But, since the construction started, it has been about 45-50 minutes in the morning and in the afternoons, it can be well over an hour."
"It's usually pretty rough. With no traffic it's 10 minutes," said driver Brandon Kaus. "With this construction, it's been sometimes up to a half hour."
The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to open a third lane of I-25 by December 2013. Heavy rain hampered work on the project.
KRDO News Radio's Joel Navarro knows the impact construction has on drivers' commutes locally. He watches traffic trends and gives live updates to KRDO News Radio on 105.5 FM and 1240 AM. He is concerned heavy rain's impact on the project could lead to more extensive closures to get the project finished on time.
"We're going to be in winter weather and snow is going to be here before you know it," said Navarro. "There is a very small window to get this construction done."
This week, there will be right and left shoulder closures between Woodmen Road Exit and State Highway 105 (mile marker 149 to 161) from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some lanes and ramps will be closed along that same stretch of highway overnight from 8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
These have been the same closures slowing drivers since the project started. There are not extensive closures scheduled for the future.
North Gate Boulevard between the east and west sides of the interstate is still closed. It will open Oct. 10.