I-70B Project Stopping for Winter

November 17, 2010 - Work Suspended to Make Way for Holiday Traffic - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - GRAND JUNCTION – Work on the I-70B Reconstruction Project will be suspended soon for the winter holiday season.

The project has been under construction since July on I-70B (also known as Highway 6 & 50) between 24 Road and 24 ¾ Road The suspension of work has been scheduled specifically to provide open and unrestricted travel in the project area during the busy holiday shopping season.

The highway within the project area is currently being reopened to unrestricted traffic for the holiday shopping season. Westbound traffic has been switched over to the new concrete lanes along the north side of the highway. During the suspension of work, eastbound traffic will continue to use the old asphalt lanes on the south side. Left hand and right hand turn lanes are being put in place for all of the major intersections in the project area. This includes the three entrances to the Mesa Mall, 24½ Road, and 24¾ Road. No road work or traffic control will be conducted during the suspension of work.

“Weather permitting, the work needed to fully open I-70B to unrestricted traffic is scheduled to finish by this weekend or early next week,” said Tom Newland, Public Information Manager for the project. Additional utility work, bad weather days and some poor soils discovered under the old pavement have put the project schedule behind what was anticipated. Newland said that despite being behind, continuing the work into the holiday shopping season was not an option that either CDOT or the contractor, Lawson Construction, wanted to consider.

Many retail stores are located within the project area and the holiday shopping season is by far their busiest time of year. With the temporary shutdown in construction, the travelling public will have a safe, unimpeded roadway to get to the stores for shopping. The project schedule calls for Lawson to resume work in late February or the beginning of March, 2011. However, if weather permits, CDOT and Lawson will look at the possibility of restarting the work as early as mid-January.

Concrete and construction crews are currently working to prepare the project for the suspension of work. The work schedule for the next week is weather dependent but goes as follows:

  • The north frontage road between Shiners and the Valley Plaza Center is being paved today, and the tie-ins to the various intersections along the north frontage road will be done through the weekend
  • Work on finishing the intersections at Mesa Mall will be completed by the end of this week;
  • Temporary, asphalt left-hand turn lanes have been placed at the major intersections and will open as the intersections are completed;
  • The 24½ Road and 24¾ Road intersections will be finished by early next week;
  • All signals at the intersections have been placed and are operating;
  • Work to prepare the south frontage road for paving will also take place into early next week.

Items that remain to be done once work resumes on the project next year include:

  • Removal and replacement of the old asphalt surface on the south side of the highway;
  • Placement of the new south frontage road;
  • Constructing the median improvements;
  • Curb and sidewalk placement;
  • Landscaping/irrigation.

The project was contracted to Lawson Construction of Longmont, Colorado, for $9.36 million--$4 million of which was funded by *FASTER legislation (Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery). Monies collected under the FASTER Safety Fund are to be used for construction, reconstruction, or maintenance projects that the Transportation Commission, a county or municipality determine are needed to enhance the safety of a state highway, county road, or city street.

Those with questions or concerns about the project, or who want to receive updates on the project progress, may call Tom Newland, Public Information Manager for the project, at (970) 773-3457.

Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this or other CDOT projects is available at www.dot.state.co.us/TravelInfo/currentcond/ or by calling 511. To receive project updates via e-mail, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Northwest Colorado.

*(FASTER Bridge Fund monies are to be used to repair or replace poor rated bridges on the state highway system.) Additional information on FASTER is accessible at: www.coloradodot.info/projects/faster .