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Woodmen Road Expressway celebrated

County commissioners, public employees and construction crews gathered June 17 to celebrate the grand opening of the Woodmen Road Expressway, expanded from Powers Boulevard. Although the roadway has been open for a few months, the celebration marked the completion of a project that has been in the works since 2000.Ted Tjerandsen Jr., chief construction manager for Wilson & Company, the consulting firm hired by El Paso County to provide construction management for the project; said the roadway was finished within two to three weeks of the target date.Actual construction on the roadway to expand it to four lanes from Powers Boulevard to U.S. Highway 24 took 15 months and 100,000 tons of asphalt to complete. He said two new bridges were installed over Sand Creek, and the total project cost was $22 million.”We had a great safety record on this project,” Tjerandsen said. With 91,000 labor hours, he said there were no reported injuries.Another feature of the roadway is the 5 miles of walking and biking trails that run alongside the road.Tjerandsen said the four-lane roadway is expected to meet traffic flow demands through 2030. “Right now, there are 27,000 trips per day on Woodmen; it will accommodate up to 42,000 trips,” he said.County Commissioner Amy Lathen said she is happy to see the project completed. She said with the amount of growth in the area the four-lane roads will greatly impact residents in eastern El Paso County and the commute to Colorado Springs.”The safety is also improved,” Lathen said. “With a four-lane highway, you don’t have to worry about people passing at high speeds. I’m very exited about the safety.”

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