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New CDOT Ramp Metering

By Patte Smith

To reduce congestion and improve travel times on northbound I-25, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is testing a new ramp metering system on northbound I-25 between Ridgegate Parkway and University Boulevard.

Motorists may notice a difference in the timing of the lights when they approach the ramp meters. The signals are updated in real time based on actual traffic conditions every 20 seconds to better control the flow of traffic entering northbound I-25. This is expected to result in faster travel times on northbound I-25. As the CDOT team closely monitors the new project, they will adjust and improve the metering system as needed.

Prior to testing, motorists stopped at ramp metering signals and then continued when the light turned green. During high volume commuter traffic times in the morning and late afternoons, ramps were congested with drivers waiting in long lines. When finalized, the new ramp metering will alleviate much of the congestion, decrease crashes and reduce emissions.

Most of the ramps have two ramp metering signal lights, and three other ramps have an additional signal on the right shoulder. When approaching the ramps with three signal lights, the right shoulder lane can only be used when the ramp metering signals are on.

“I recently noticed the change in the ramp signals that CDOT is testing, and the stream of traffic has improved,” stated an early morning commuter. “Previously, when I approached the east side ramp at Ridgegate leading onto I-25, commuters were lined up on the ramp waiting to get on the interstate. The new metering is working.”

The new ramp metering system is also being monitored on I-225, C-470 and E-470 on-ramps to northbound I-25. If results show traffic conditions improve, permanent utilization is possible.

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