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Federal money approved for military-related road projects in El Paso County

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Four months after applying for it, El Paso County leaders learned this week that they will receive an $18.3-million-dollar federal grant to improve transportation around the area’s military installations.

The grant will be allocated to the Colorado Department of Transportation and is expected to arrive soon, Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, announced Wednesday.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 outlined the four planned projects during a roundtable discussion with CDOT and local leaders in July.

One project will improve Fort Carson’s Gate 19 near the Fountain exit of Interstate 25. Rebuilding the road leading to that gate, and helping to develop a nearby industrial park, are part of that effort.

From that exit, 7.5 miles north along I-25 to the South Academy Boulevard exit, workers will install safety upgrades such as center median guardrails, bridge work and widened shoulders.

The project also will widen sections of South Academy to three lanes in both directions to ease traffic flow near Fort Carson and the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.

Finally, the project includes creating a mile-long passing lane on westbound Highway 94 near the entrance to Schriever Air Force Base.

Construction on the projects could start as early as next year and CDOT wants to finish them by the end of 2022.

It’s unclear whether the projects will happen simultaneously or one at a time, and some drivers are concerned that the projects will worsen existing road construction and traffic congestion.

CDOT said the projects won’t address all military-related transportation needs but the highest priorities are being addressed.

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