The day started like any other at the I-25 South Gap project office in Castle Rock. Then the lights went out.
As can happen during a construction project, a downed power line was the culprit. Only in this case, it dropped over Interstate 25 and would have to be re-hung in the same place.
Within the hour, the project team was in full crisis response mode, and CIG was already on-scene to lead public information.
One lane of I-25 and both frontage roads were already closed so crews could respond. IREA – anxious to restore power to its customers ASAP – was requesting a full closure of I-25 between Castle Rock and Larkspur at 4:30 p.m. on a Monday. The closure would be planned for just 15 minutes, but in a worst-cast scenario, it could be 45 minutes. With few alternate routes in the area, robust, quick and accurate communications were vital.
Being on-scene already for the day helped the CIG team get direct information from the field that we could use to prepare talking points for CDOT media reps; quickly send text alerts; Tweet public updates in real-time; and relay information to CDOT Traffic Ops so overhead message boards would have the most accurate information for drivers.
As the construction team prepared for and executed the closure, other members of the team could watch from our very own situation room inside the project office. CIG was there and could update CDOT officials and the public in real-time.
In all, the closure lasted just more than 9 minutes. Traffic opened again, and there was very little public fall out. The crew went home safe.