Training exercise for emergency crews focuses on I-25 South Gap project

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- According to the Colorado State Patrol, there were 1,118 crashes along the Interstate 25 South Gap project between Jan. 1 and Nov. 8 of this year.

The South Gap construction area is between Castle Rock and Monument.

On Wednesday, first responders gathered for a training exercise to ensure crews are ready to handle whatever happens in the construction zone.

Members of CSP, the Colorado Department of Transportation, Castle Rock Fire and Rescue and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office gathered at a training center in Douglas County with a realistic-looking outdoor track.

The scenario for the training was a two-car crash that was blocking one lane of traffic. One driver was injured.

With crowds watching, members of each agency had to work together to clear the scene as quickly as possible.

“I think it went great. The more we practice coordinating across multiple agencies on a single event, just the more efficient that they are and the more quickly we can process the scene. and be ready for the next,” said CSP Trooper Chris Dierker.

The 18-mile stretch of construction zone has some unique challenges -- like the lack of shoulder space -- so officials say this type of training is important for safety and efficiency.

The project is scheduled for completion by 2022. Crews will add express lanes and widen the shoulder area.

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