Denver — The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the New Pueblo Freeway, allowing the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to begin reconstructing Interstate 25 through Pueblo.
Signing the ROD signifies FHWA approval of the Preferred Alternative in the Environmental Impact Statement, which was finalized last fall.
“Transportation facilities such as I-25 in Pueblo are an integral part of a community’s fabric and this project is an example of how a context sensitive approach to planning and designing a facility can be successful,” said FHWA Colorado Division Administrator John Cater. “This project contains many examples of how the design changed to better meet the needs of the community. Our signing of this ROD is the final step in the Environmental process and allows CDOT to proceed with much needed construction on I-25.”
The first project is the reconstruction of I-25 between Ilex Street and 1st Street, including replacing the Ilex Street Bridge. Work currently is scheduled to begin in fall 2014.
“Today’s ROD signing is a significant milestone for the citizens of Pueblo and Colorado,” said CDOT Region Two Transportation Director Tom Wrona. “Getting to this point is a great example of what can be accomplished when everyone comes together to improve our transportation system. I want to thank all the individuals involved in this process for their dedication, perseverance and contributions over the last several years.”
Future projects will replace deteriorating roadways and bridges, and improve local and regional mobility to meet existing and future travel demands. As funding allows, CDOT will:
- Widen the highway to three lanes in each direction
- Straighten I-25 through downtown
- Reconstruct interchanges to improve safety and traffic flow
- Add or widen shoulders
- Construct trails and bridges to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety
“The cooperation of local, state and federal officials has come to fruition, and with the FHWA signing the ROD, it’s a big ‘GO’ for Pueblo,” said Pueblo County Commissioner Buffie McFadyen. “Ensuring safety, combined with the enhancements, and improving the gateway to downtown is huge and a long time coming. A big thank you as well to Transportation Commissioner Bill Thiebaut. The only thing that would have made this day sweeter is if President Eisenhower was here to see it himself.”
For further information, visit www.newpueblofreeway.org.