COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Local leaders announced this week that they have come up with the final $2 million to fund an upgrade of the congested interchange at Interstate 25 and Fillmore Street.
The money comes from a combination of federal, state and local sources. The $13 million total cost includes building two new overpasses and using a "diverging diamond" concept that has been used only a few times nationally, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Work on the project begins late this summer and will last from 12 to 18 months, said Shane Ferguson, a CDOT project engineer.
"The idea is to remove the left turn phase; that essentially will help traffic flow through the interchange faster," he said. "We'll also improve the entrance and exit ramps."
Preparation work for the project included acquiring property and moving nearby Chestnut Street slightly farther west to provide more space.
"I like the changes they're making," said Stanley Moore, a local driver. "I avoid this intersection because it's so congested. So I think it's a great idea."
Ferguson said without the diverging diamond design, workers would have needed to lower the interstate by several feet through the area -- which would have raised the cost to $40 million.
The project ranks second on the area's priority list for transportation needs, behind the $95 million interchange improvement at Interstate 25 and Cimarron Street.
To see simulations of how the diverging diamond design will work, visit: http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/i25fillmore/ddi-simulation