CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- The Colorado Department of Transportation has been getting an earful from people asking questions about proposed toll lanes between Castle Rock and Monument.
The stretch of Interstate 25 has been described as a miserable stretch of asphalt with too many vehicles and dangerous conditions.
“Sometimes we’ll travel and camp down south and that definitely gets backed up so we’ll take the side road," Lori King of Castle Rock said.
CDOT is planning to widen I-25 by adding a toll lane in each direction and widening the road's shoulders for 18 miles.
“We’ve got to do something because it’s pretty crowded," Heidi Geving said.
Growing populations, CDOT says, have contributed to traffic snarls and accidents.
From 2011 to 2015, there were 1,800 crashes along that stretch of I-25. Six people were killed, including two Colorado State Patrol troopers.
CDOT took calls Thursday night during a telephone town hall meeting from drivers about expanding the lanes.
“Why go to three (lanes) when you know you’re going to have to go to four?” one caller asked.
Tolls could range from $3 to $6, money that CDOT said will be used to pay for maintaining and operating the highway.
“I think I’d like to see where the money is going for the roads that I understand I’m paying taxes for right here (at the gasoline pump) as well as on my (license) plates before I have to pay the toll," Kirk Schwaninger of Colorado Springs said.
Two lanes will still be free, While the toll lanes will cost money, they could save time.
CDOT said it plans to have more listening sessions to hear from the public about the proposed expansion.
If the $350 million funding comes through, construction could begin at the end of this year.