Starting June 1, 2019, running into 2022, eighteen miles of I-25 will go under construction… all at the same time. The Gap from Castle Rock to Monument is getting a face-lift, and the folks at CDOT have decided it best to tackle it in one fell swoop.
This sounds like a nightmare to anyone and everyone, but especially so for those who travel that route daily on their commute into Denver for work. As its own form of virtual ibuprofen, I-25 My Way is being prescribed to the soon-to-be ailing commuters.
I-25 My Way is a method of “transportation demand management,” offering alternative commutes to help alleviate congestion, treat safety due to pile-ups, and manage air pollution that inherently follows congested traffic, according to CDOT. And in our opinion, they are getting quite creative.
There are three options with incentives being offered under the I-25 My Way program, all outlined on their site:
For the Bustang option, incentives are being offered for round trip tickets through the Gap to DTC and Downtown Denver. The buses offer restrooms, wifi, and luggage racks to make riders feel like they are at home during the assuredly lengthy commute through the construction zone. Travelers can pull out their laptops, enjoy their coffee in their to-go cups, and make their own pit-stops along the way, which CDOT is touting as much better than simply sitting in their own cars, blocked from exits, and wasting time on the road.
Vanpooling was the second alternative being offered under the incentive plan. It’s carpooling on an extra shot of espresso. Vanpooling is carpooling with a monthly fee, in which a group of commuters alternate driving a WayToGo van through the Gap. The vans are also wifi equipped, and customer support with either help you find a pool already going in your direction or coordinate your own pool. CDOT estimates vanpooling will save commuters up to $15,000/year, which we assume includes the increased gas costs of the lengthened construction-zone commute time, as well as vehicle wear-and-tear expenses.
Finally, the age-old carpool is listed by the agency as an “alternative method of commute.” While we have all been carpooling since our parents carted us around to tee ball and tumbling as kids, there are some new-age perks. Carpool participants can go to the website to track their trips and be entered to win raffle prizes offered regularly through the duration of the turmoil. I-25 My Way is also partnering with traffic’s favorite app, Waze Carpool, for $2 for 2 months. And on every 5th trip through the Gap, Waze carpoolers will receive rewards covering extra rides.
While most of these incentive programs get riders through the Gap to Downtown Denver, and one Bustang incentive to DTC, many afflicted commuters will need transport past the Downtown area. These headache sufferers are being urged to contact I-25 May Way for help coordinating the additional journey.
So if you find yourself with a sudden onset migraine the size of an 18-mile gap in the interstate sometime around June 1 of this year, take two aspirin and meander around the I-25 My Way site to find which option allows you to best kick back and make the most of the time added to your trip. CDOT promises it will all be worth it in the end.
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