An obsolete exit and bridge with low clearance on I-25 are slated for update this year as part of the New Pueblo Freeway plan

· Jan. 2, 2024, 4:00 am
The Exit 100A interchange at Interstate 25 and U.S. Highway 50 in Pueblo is slated for construction in 2024.The Exit 100A interchange at Interstate 25 and U.S. Highway 50 in Pueblo is slated for construction in 2024.Google Earth
The Exit 100A interchange at Interstate 25 and U.S. Highway 50 in Pueblo is slated for construction in 2024.

Work is slated to begin this summer on updating an interchange at Interstate 25 and Highway 50 on the north side of Pueblo.

On multiple occasions through the years, trucks carrying oversized loads on the interstate have hit the low clearance bridge at U.S. Highway 50 East as they’ve attempted to go under it. 

Colorado Department of Transportation engineer Jennifer Sparks said that the exit at that interchange is also currently a tight loop.

“We've even had trucks get stuck on the ramp,” she said. “This is a much better design. especially for freight traffic.”

Redesigning the entire exit 100A interchange at Highway 50 East will help traffic flow on an important freight corridor, Sparks said. 

Google Maps
U.S. Highway 50 follows the same route as Interstate 25 between Exits 100A and 101 in Pueblo.

“There will be fewer conflict points, better sight distance, just a safer way of getting through an interchange,” she said.

Work is expected to start in the summer and take two or three years to complete.

It's part of the New Pueblo Freeway project, which is a long term plan to improve safety on the interstate in Pueblo. It calls for what’s known as a diverging diamond interchange at Highway 50 East. The design involves shifting lanes to more efficiently move traffic off and on the interstate. 

Additionally as part of the freeway project, the city’s trail system will be expanded to include a new sidewalk for pedestrians and bicycles to cross I-25 between Mineral Palace Park and the east side of Fountain Creek.

The bridge that crosses Fountain Creek will be also raised above the floodway and new noise walls will be installed to help keep the traffic sound out of nearby neighborhoods.

This is the second phase of the New Pueblo Freeway plan and funding for the more than $150 million project comes from a variety of sources, according to Sparks. That includes a portion of the fees paid during car registration.

The work has meant that a number of commercial properties and one residence have been or are in the process of being acquired and removed to make way for the construction. Sparks said no condemnation or eminent domain proceedings were needed.

Once construction gets underway, there will be some traffic shifts, but Sparks said, “We are requiring the interstate to stay open to two lanes in each direction. We are also requiring the ramps to remain open.”

The revamping of the Ilex Street interchange near Runyon Fields was the first phase of the New Pueblo Freeway plan. It was completed a few years ago. Sparks said it will be some time before additional portions of the plan will be implemented because of challenges with existing right-of-ways and other issues.

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