Echoing a host of elected officials — including Mayor John Suthers and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper — the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments passed a resolution making the widening of Interstate 25 its highest regional priority.

According to a press release announcing the resolution, PPACG is the states metropolitan planning organization with the Colorado Department of Transportation. Its job is to identify the priorities for transportation funding in the upcoming year.

While I-25 is six to eight lanes wide from just south of Castle Rock north through Denver and six lanes from the top of Monument Hill south through Colorado Springs; there is a 17-mile ‘gap’ section between Monument Hill and Castle Rock that is currently four lanes, creating a roadway that does not adequately serve existing needs and will not safely and efficiently accommodate projected increases in travel,” the release said.

PPACG has representatives from 16 local governments — including Colorado Springs. While only one mile of the 17 falls under the quasi-government agency’s jurisdiction, many view the resolution as the next step to widening the interstate north of Monument. CDOT commissioned an 18-month, $2.2 million planning study for the expansion, but has said that it will take 10 years and $270 million to complete.