News

New I-70 Edwards Interchange is Complete!

June 9, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - CDOT, Eagle County, Edwards Area Metro District, contractor ACC and community mark the end of cone zones with a ribbon cutting today.

EAGLE COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and contractor American Civil Constructors, Inc. (ACC), completed construction of the new Edwards Interchange at I-70, exit 163. The end of work was marked with a ribbon cutting today, hosted with project partners Eagle County and the Edwards Area Metro District. The total cost of the project, which has constructed four interchange roundabouts, is approximately $10.7 million--$8.7 million of which came from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and $1.1 million from Edwards Area Metro District and Eagle County (for design and landscaping).

ACC, a Colorado-based contractor with 35 years of experience working in the Rocky Mountains, was awarded the contract to reconstruct the interchange. Work began on March 15, 2010 and was suspended during the winter holiday season.

“This project has been in the planning stages for about a decade; CDOT and Eagle County have been working together to design a project that would meet the needs of this growing area for decades to come,” CDOT Region 3 Transportation Director Dave Eller said. “This project has been a high priority for the planning region, and fortunately it was able to move forward with ARRA funding.”

The project constructed four 2-lane concrete roundabouts (two on the north side of I-70 at the intersection of Berry Creek and Beard Creek Roads, and two on the south side of I-70 at the intersection of Miller Ranch Road and the Edwards Access Road). Additional improvements at the interchange include a bike/pedestrian path and drainage upgrades.

“We worked together with Edwards Area Metro Districts and CDOT to identify safety and mobility improvements at this site,” Eagle County Project Engineer Ben Gerdes, Sr., said. “The roundabouts are improving traffic flow and safety at this new interchange, which was previously signalized.”

In all, work at the interchange included the following:

  • Excavation:  46,245 cubic yards of dirt (enough to fill more than 20 olympic-sized pools);
  • Concrete paving:  3.423 square yards or 13,000,000 pounds (the equivalent of 121 full fuel tankers)
  • Utilities relocations:  3,479 linear feet (the length of approximately 10 football fields)

“We really appreciate the patience of the neighboring residents, businesses and the traveling public, especially since our project ended up taking a little bit longer,” CDOT Program Engineer Joe Elsen said. “We encountered some underground challenges that affected our schedule and I credit the ability of ACC and our Construction Management team, HDR, to react positively to these changes and complete a quality project.”

Partner Edwards Area Metro District is equally satisfied with the finished work.

“In addition to the enhanced traffic flow and vehicular safety which really benefits the Medical Center, businesses, college and all the schools in the area, I am especially happy to see sidewalks and crosswalks which enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety,”  said Ken Marchetti, representing the Edwards Area Metro District.

Some community members had this to say about the completed product:

“Nobody said that the Roundabout Project was going to be a ‘walk in the park.’ Constructing four roundabouts at one of the busiest accesses to the I-70 corridor in western Colorado tested everyones’ ingenuity, willpower, patience and pocket books__whether that be American Civil Constructors and their sub-contractors, CDOT, Eagle County or all the business owners in the Edwards Community. Everyone should be proud of the end result.” Paul Golden, Representing East West Resorts as the landlord of Edwards Station.

“The Edwards Roundabout construction is finally behind us, happy days are here again! The community went through some aggravating moments but in the end it was definitely worth the wait. The traffic flow is efficient and steady, plus the current wait time barely gives you a chance to check your Blackberry for messages. The roundabouts look great and when the landscaping is complete it will be very appealing; plus, this is the front door to Edwards, so thank you ACC!” Edwards resident Gerry Alipio Salani.

In all, Colorado will receive ARRA Funds of more than $400 million for transportation projects and $103 million for transit projects statewide. For more information about how Colorado is putting the recovery act to work, visit www.colorado.gov/recovery. For a list of CDOT’s Recovery Act projects and additional ARRA information, visit www.dot.state.co.us/arra.

Photos posted on: http://www.coloradodot.info/news/media-room.html

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