The Colorado Department of Transportation reopened the Highway 402 exit between Johnstown and Loveland on Friday, marking the first milestone in a yearslong effort to upgrade Interstate 25 through Northern Colorado.
Traffic along 402 will cross over the interstate using a new bridge. Cars will also use three new roundabouts to enter and exit I-25.
Drivers should note that the new northbound on-and-off ramps won’t officially open until the evening of Oct. 22. Traffic will continue to use temporary on-and-off ramps until then.
The design is similar to what CDOT plans to build at several interchanges along a 20-mile stretch of the road between Berthoud and Fort Collins.
Crews have been working on the segment since last fall. They’re adding express lanes and upgrading exits along the increasingly congested highway.
This spring, the state’s Transportation Commission gave the project a boost, dedicating an additional $250 million in funding to rebuild the entire stretch of road along its “permanent alignment.”
That means more pavement reconstruction, replacement of bridges and constructing the interstate out of the Poudre floodplain at the Kechter Road overpass, where it’s particularly vulnerable to flooding.
The additional improvements mean more construction in the short term, according to CDOT, but will save taxpayer money in the long run.
The agency estimates the project will last through 2023.