I-70B Project Winds Down

June 24, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Project Completion Scheduled for Next Friday.

GRAND JUNCTION – After nearly a year of construction, work on the I-70B Reconstruction Project between 24 Road and 24 ¾ Road will be coming to an end by next Friday, July 1. The project began last July, was suspended over the holiday shopping season, re-started in mid-February, and has been progressing towards completion ever since.

The final product will be a complete concrete reconstruction of this section of I-70B. Overhead utilities were buried, the storm sewers were improved, the asphalt driving surface was replaced with concrete and the streetscape was significantly upgraded with medians, lighting and landscaping. An additional through-lane in each direction has also been added to accommodate existing and future traffic.

“Current traffic on I-70B in this area is about 30,000 vehicles per day,” said Jason Smith, CDOT Resident Engineer for Grand Junction.  “The additional lanes will not only help reduce current congestion, they are necessary to handle the projected 40,000 vehicles per day in 2030.”

The project was initially to be completed by April 19 of 2011, but a series of unforeseen issues made it impossible to make the completion date. According to Jim Sampson, Project Manager for Lawson Construction, these issues included coordination with utilities, weather impacts and soils unsuitable for supporting the new concrete roadway.

“With the aggressive schedule we laid out for ourselves, every time there is a delay it affects everything down the line,” Sampson said.  He cited as an example the series of storms that battered Grand Junction last fall.  “We had some weather days scheduled in, but there turned out to be several more than we had anticipated.”

The project placed over 100,000 square yards of concrete, with nearly 25,000-feet of curb and gutter.  The excavation and replacement of the un-structural dirt below the driving surface was also significant. Over 1,300 shrubs and perennials have been planted, sidewalk has been placed on both sides of the highway, and 137 pedestrian and intersection lights have been positioned along the driving lanes.

“What people will notice initially when the project is done is how much the appearance of the highway has been improved,” Smith said. “Congestion will be relieved, capacity will be increased and the businesses in the area will have safer, more inviting access for their customers.”

The project was contracted to Lawson Construction 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 (via vehicle registration fees) 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 about the work may reach Tom Newland, Public Information Manager for the project, at (970) 773-3457 or [email protected].

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.

Additional information on the FASTER legislation is accessible at: www.coloradodot.info/projects/faster.