Sep 15, 2010 11:13 PM by Zach Thaxton
The first of five new Trip Travel Time road signs between Colorado Springs and Castle Rock will be activated Thursday, several weeks later than originally planned.
The signs are designed to alert drivers about estimated travel times to numerous major interchanges, such as I-25 and U.S. Hwy. 24, North Academy Boulevard, the Monument interchange, Castle Rock, and C-470. They were originally scheduled to be activated by Labor Day weekend, but the Colorado Department of Transportation says theft of copper wiring from a sign near Larkspur pushed the schedule back by approximately two weeks.
Some drivers question whether the more-than-$600,000 price tag for the signs is worth it. The project was paid for by money from fuel taxes which fund CDOT's maintenance budget. "I think there's a better use for that," said Rose Simonetti, a traveler fueling her SUV at the Safeway in Monument. "I'm in Monument. I know how far it is and how long it takes me to get there." CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson says similar projects elsewhere in the state have received warm response. "People have liked having that information because basically it allows them to extimate how long it's going to take their trip," Wilson said. "This allows people to consider the use of alternate routes if necessary and it can also help ease traffic congestion."
The first of the five signs to be activated Thursday will be one along northbound I-25 near Tomah Road in Douglas County. The other four signs will be activated in the days and weeks to follow. Overhead variable message signs will also alert drivers to travel times when the system is fully operational.