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Eastbound I-70 Peak Period Shoulder Lane Update

CDOT I-70 PPSL rendering Colorado Department of Transportation

If you’ve been driving the Interstate 70 corridor this ski season, you’ve probably noticed some construction work on the eastbound shoulder between Empire and Idaho Springs. This is the Peak Period Shoulder Lane Project, and when completed it will help alleviate congestion on the corridor during busy days for summer and winter travel alike.

Project Overview

The project, part of CDOTs comprehensive plan to improve travel in the I-70 Mountain Corridor, will upgrade 13-miles of Eastbound I-70 within CDOTs existing right of way. The upgrades will create a wide shoulder that only during peak travel periods will operate as a third travel lane. The express lane will be dynamically priced to keep traffic moving. Prices will lower when CDOT wants to encourage drivers to use the lane and rise as the lane reaches capacity. Utilizing the shoulder to create an express lane within the existing I-70 right-of-way during peak periods instead of adding a full lane has several benefits:

  • Dynamic toll pricing keeps traffic moving: prices lower to encourage drivers to use the lane and rise as the lane reaches capacity
  • Reduces travel time by nearly half from the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels to the top of Floyd Hill, resulting in an average 30-minute time savings
  • Provides drivers with the choice of a new more reliable travel lane
  • Avoids overbuilding I-70, by using the shoulder as a third lane, during peak hours
  • Enhances recent Twin Tunnels (Veterans Memorial Tunnels) improvements
  • Allows for faster speeds in all lanes, thus decreasing overall traffic time
Colorado Department of Transportation

April 20 Update

Work to rebuild each of the on-ramps and off-ramps in the State Highway 103 (Exit 240) interchange is scheduled to beginTuesday, April 21. Crews will first close the eastbound I-70 off-ramp to SH 103 and the SH 103 on-ramp to westbound I-70 (see map below) for about 10 days. When these ramps reopen, they will then close the SH 103 on-ramp to eastbound I-70 for about one week. When this ramp reopens, the westbound I-70 off-ramp to SH 103 will close for about two weeks. Signed detours will be in place to guide motorists around these closures.

EffectiveWednesday, April 22, drivers that use the Exit 241A off-ramp from westbound I-70 to travel west on Colorado Boulevard toward downtown Idaho Springs will need to continue to the next off-ramp (Exit 241B) where temporary asphalt, lane striping and traffic control devices are being put in place to permit left turns onto westbound Colorado Boulevard.

While this ramp detour is necessary to facilitate construction of the new bridge that is being built next to the existing structure, this ramp configuration will be similar to the redesigned, permanent interchange which will feature one westbound off-ramp onto Colorado Boulevard when work is complete this fall.

Construction activities are weather dependent and the schedule is to change. For additional project information, visitwww.i70ppsl.comor call303-223-6581.