DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Drivers traveling between Denver and Colorado Springs on Interstate 25 have a smoother ride thanks to the South Gap Project. Construction on the project is nearly complete.

(credit: CBS)

All lanes opened to traffic at 8 a.m. Friday in the stretch between Castle Rock and Monument. The express toll lanes are free for a limited time.

Last month, CDOT, state leaders and legislators announced the 18-mile-long project was finished ahead of schedule. CDOT, however, says there will be some paving and striping scheduled for the spring and summer near Larkspur.

(credit: CBS)

Construction of the roughly $419 million project started in September 2018 with the goal to ease congestion and reduce wrecks.

Along with new express lanes, drivers will notice widened shoulders, rebuilt bridges, road realignment and wildlife crossings.

(credit: CBS)

Drivers are reminded to not cross the solid white lines; enter and exit at areas with white dotted lines; and obey posted speed limits. Colorado State Patrol will also be in the area the morning the lanes open.

Jennifer McRae