DOUGLAS COUNTY -- The Colorado Department of Transportation has started to study a stretch of Interstate 25 where two troopers have been killed in the last year.
Trooper Cody Donahue was killed on Friday, when a truck driver hit him on northbound I-25 at Tomah Road.
Last November, Trooper Jaimie Jursevics was hit and killed by a driver on southbound I-25 just south of Castle Rock.
I-25 between Castle Rock and Monument is two lanes in each direction.
"The challenge of I-25 from Castle Rock to Monument is there is not enough space for all the vehicles driving through there," said CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford. "It's one of those pinch points that we're actually in the process of studying and looking at; how do we make improvements both from congestion and mobility, but also a safety perspective."
Every day, 117,000 drivers travel through Castle Rock on I-25. From January 2010 through June 2015, there were 4,700 accidents. Of those, two-thirds involved more than one vehicle.
- 4,700 accidents
- 3,392 - property damage
- 1,296 - injury
For the last two years, Gov. John Hickenlooper has called for the legislature to find a way to pay for three lanes in each direction between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.
He often compares that corridor to Utah's Interstate 15 from Ogden to Provo, through Salt Lake City. That highway has at least three lanes in each direction and light rail.
"They have half the population we do, and they have the same budget we do," said Ford.
Utah increased its gas and diesel tax to 29 cents per gallon last year. Colorado's gas tax is 22 cents per gallon, and our diesel tax is 20.5 cents per gallon. Utah also has about a one-cent statewide sales tax for roads, that Colorado does not have.
"What has to happen to have six lanes between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, very frankly, is more money, and I know that's as a trite answer as you can hear," said Ford. "It costs, for instance, to do about 10-to-15 miles of one lane in each direction, let's say north I-25, $240 million. Our budget is $1.3 billion. We have needs all around the state and the vast majority of that budget is dedicated toward maintaining the roads we currently have. So adding new capacity, like on I-25, costs money and it's money we don't have."
The speed limit is 75 miles per hour from Castle Rock to Monument. Denver7 wanted to know if CDOT was considering dropping it back down to 65.
"Slower speed limits don't necessarily make a difference in how people choose to drive the corridor," said Ford.
A speed study takes into account the number of cars that travel the corridor, the speed of the vehicles, and often results in the speed limit being increased.
None of the solutions may help what happened in both accidents that killed Troopers Jursevics and Donahue, as those involved drivers who either did not pull over or pull to the left because of a Trooper on the side of the road.
"State law requires that you move over a lane, and in these instances that did not happen," said Ford. "It's absolutely tragic and something that we continue to educate about."
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