Commuters, rejoice:

The widening of Interstate 25 from Monument to Castle Rock is a step closer to reality.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has identified $250 million for the project if communities along the stretch can provide additional funding, El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller said at the commissioners’ regular Thursday meeting.

The solution was found in a new state law, previously known as Senate Bill 267, that policymakers expect will generate about $1.8 billion for transportation needs over the next 20 years.

The widening of the roughly 17-mile stretch from two to three lanes in each direction is expected to cost from $290 million to $570 million, depending on what improvements are needed. With the new proposal, along with two questions on the Nov. 7 ballot that could yield at least $16 million in local funds for the project, officials are getting closer to finalizing a plan to foot the hefty bill.

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