The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to get as much paving done as possible before the long-term winter temperatures set in on the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane project. Paving work can be done only during daytime hours when temperatures are warmer. Closures will continue through the night to get other work done.
I-70 will be down to one lane in each direction in Idaho Springs Monday and Tuesday during the day, causing at least two hour delays for east and westbound traffic. Motorists are advised to avoid traveling during lane closure times.
CLOSURE SCHEDULE AND IMPACTS:
Lane closures will occur in a half-mile area of I-70 between Colorado Boulevard and Fall River Road exits in Idaho Springs. Below is the schedule and impacts:
· Sunday, Dec. 20 from 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. – Single lane closure on westbound I-70 for crews to clear snow and ice, and shift the barrier to prepare for paving. Traffic delays Sunday afternoon with minor impacts overnight. Westbound traffic will have one travel lane.
· Sunday, Dec. 20 from 8 p.m. through Tuesday night, Dec. 22 – Eastbound I-70 traffic down to one lane. Sunday night, crews will clear snow and ice for paving. Paving will take place Monday through Tuesday. Heavy traffic delays of two-hours Monday and Tuesday, particularly in the afternoons.
· Monday, Dec. 21 and Tuesday, Dec. 22, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day – Westbound I-70 traffic down to one lane for paving work. Heavy traffic delays of at least two hours during the daytime hours.
The schedule above is subject to change depending on the weather and other factors. The latest information on lane closures will be posted on Cotrip.org.
AVOID TRAVEL DURING LANE CLOSURE TIMES DURING THE DAY MONDAY AND TUESDAY:
If motorists are planning to travel the westbound I-70 corridor they are urged to leave early before construction starts. If motorists are traveling eastbound, they should expect the heaviest delays Monday and Tuesday during the day. There will be no planned lane closures over the holidays, Wednesday, Dec. 23 through Monday night, Dec. 28 and from Thursday, Dec. 31 through Sunday, Jan. 3. There will be planned nightly single lane closures Dec. 28 to Dec. 30, but traffic impacts should be minimal.
After Dec. 22, there will be no further planned westbound daytime closures on this project through the winter. Should more paving work need to be done, that work will take place when the temperatures are warmer in the spring.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:
· Road conditions and travel information: www.COtrip.org
· Chain and traction law: www.codot.gov/travel/colorado-chain-law
· Sign up for project or travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts
· See scheduled lane closures: codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Crews are working diligently to complete road construction so the new Express Lane can open as soon as possible, which is estimated for early 2021 depending on the weather and other factors. Once the new Express Lane opens, tolls will be waived until summer or fall of 2021 when the tolling infrastructure is in place and has been tested.
When completed, there will be an Express Lane on westbound I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to the Empire Interchange. Similar to the eastbound lane already in use, this 12-mile long managed lane will feature traffic management systems to reduce congestion and provide westbound drivers with a reliable, time-saving option during peak travel periods. The project is also improving the alignment of the road and repaving the surface to improve safety and make for a smoother drive.