LARKSPUR, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado officials on Thursday morning broke ground on a new project to ease congestion on Interstate 25 between Denver and Colorado Springs. The $350 million I-25 South Gap project addresses the area where the interstate goes from six lanes to four in an 18 mile stretch from Castle Rock to Monument.

The area, which passes right by Larkspur, hasn’t seen any major road improvements since it was built. Several years of planning went into the project.

“(If) you take your foot off the gas you start slowing down your efforts to create jobs and a strong economy. It’s hard to regain the momentum. So that’s why it’s so important to make these infrastructure investments,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said.

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With only two lanes in both directions the area has frequently been bogged down with heavy traffic. This project will expand the highway by adding a toll lane in each direction, improve structures and pavement, improve lighting and signs and also widen shoulders for law enforcement and maintenance crew safety.

(credit: CBS)

Two troopers from the Colorado State Patrol have been killed in the stretch of road while helping drivers.

“It’s another opportunity to see how the legacy and commitment to safety and to serve those two people made, goes on,” CSP Chief Matthew Packers said. “Our organization is better because of them, Colorado is better today because of them and will continue to be better because of their service.”

Construction is slated to begin in September and will take approximately three years to complete. Any necessary lane closures will mostly take place overnight, but officials ask that drivers slow speeds down so constrution workers stay safe.