During an event celebrating the milestone, Gov. Jared Polis, representatives from CDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and local government officials addressed the project’s significance for the future of Colorado, what to expect from the project’s forthcoming mobility hub, and how the project is connecting northern Coloradans with the rest of the state.
“This is a milestone for Colorado and every person who travels on I-25. This project will save people time and improve safety while connecting Coloradans with northern Colorado,” Polis said.
“It’s a big deal to get a project of this size done,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “It takes a long time, a lot of outreach, and a phenomenal team effort — and we are here today to celebrate those things coming together.”
Remarks were followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and an opportunity for guests to enjoy the new space, including the future mobility hub and Bustang platform in the middle of I-25.
“This whole project has been about doing things in new and original ways,” said Larimer County Commissioner Kristin Stephens. “From funding and alternative delivery contracts to compressing the design and construction schedule, multiple mobility options, growth, adaptability, and technology … it all took innovation that is the heart of the spirit of Northern Colorado.”
Heather Paddock, CDOT Regional Transportation Director for Northeast Colorado agreed. “I have said numerous times, I-25 is the backbone and spine of Northern Colorado," she said. "It is the lifeline that connects us all. When the blood isn’t pumping things stop working. When I-25 doesn’t move and/or creates a barrier to get across, the communities can not healthily grow, be sustainable, economically thrive, or be provided options for modality.”
The importance of I-25 was also underscored by others. “I-25 is the lifeblood of Northern Colorado,” said Weld County Commissioner Scott James. “I am pleased to see our hard work and advocacy come to fruition, resulting in a safer and more efficient roadway for Northern Colorado motorists.”
“I-25 is a vital route supporting the regional economy — not only for travel between Denver and the North Front Range, but for much of the Western U.S.,” said John Cater, Division Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration. “This project will expedite travel along the corridor and improve reliability for trucking and freight throughout the area.”
“It has been an honor to work alongside our elected leaders. This is a remarkable model of partnership and collaboration focused on achieving an important mutual goal. Thank you to our partners. Lastly, while we celebrate this tremendous and hard-fought milestone today, we aren’t quite done,” said Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance’s Sandra Hagen Solin, noting the need for the Express Lane to continue from Mead to south of Colorado Highway 7. “We continue our work but today we celebrate.”
Rep. Joe Neguse was unable to attend, but said, “I was proud to partner with local and state leaders to secure critical federal funding for the expansion of North I-25 and am excited to see the much-needed improvements to the travel corridor between Loveland and Fort Collins become a reality, which will support countless individuals across Larimer County.”
Improvements on I-25 between Berthoud and Fort Collins have been underway since 2019. The project involves adding two general-purpose lanes and one tolled Express Lane in each direction from CO 56 to CO 14. Additionally, the initiative includes the reconstruction of interchanges and bridges, the introduction of Express Bus service, the integration of intelligent transportation systems on I-25, and the development of new carpool and transit facilities.
The I-25 North Express Lanes Project final grand opening, including the mobility hubs, is scheduled for spring 2024. Also in the spring, the next phase of work from Berthoud to Mead will begin.