By Marty Mayfield
A final public meeting for the I-25 project from exit 454 to exit 460 was held at the International Room of the International Bank Tuesday evening with a small crowd attending.
Derek Meier of Wilson and company began the presentation with a timeline of the project so far indicating that phase one of the project should go to bid soon with construction beginning in the summer. Due to budget concerns the project has now been broken up into three phases with the exit 460 reconstruction being the first phase.
The project will move the overpass about 1800 feet south of the original bridge and create new exit and entrance ramps making the flow of traffic more smooth around the port of entry. With this part of the project the POE will get a new parking lot along with new lighting and wildlife fencing.
Phase two of the project will focus on exit 454 with bridge rehabilitation and lighting. Drainage issues at both exits will also be addressed during this phase of the project along with rockfall mitigation and wildlife fencing and a wildlife crossing. The wildlife crossing will be placed under the interstate at mile marker 458 to allow wildlife access to land on both sides of the freeway.
Phase three of the project will deal mainly with the rehabilitation of I-25 paving from mile marker 455.1 to mile marker 459.3. Guardrail improvements will also be addressed during this phase.
At this time the only phase of the project that has been funded is phase one and it should begin this summer and will likely take two construction seasons to complete. As for when the other two phases of the project will begin, that will depend on funding and when it becomes available. This project could extend out several years should funding be slow to come.
Cost figures for phase one of the project have not been released due to a couple of details that are still being worked out.