I-70 West Parachute Interchange Construction to Begin

March 23, 2012 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Public-private partnership credited for getting improvements underway.

GARFIELD COUNTY - The Colorado Department of Transportation and its contractor, SEMA Construction, begin work this Monday, March 26, to construct a new interchange west of Parachute on I-70 at approximately MP 72. The new interchange will offer on- and off-ramps in both east and west directions and will utilize an existing overpass bridge on US 6. The new interchange will offer efficient, full-service traffic movements in this rapidly growing area.

The interchange project involves the construction of the on- and off-ramps, construction of two roundabouts on the north and south sides of the existing overpass bridge on US 6, and an asphalt overlay on US 6. Several safety improvements will also be made, including new guardrail and new wildlife fencing on the north side of the interchange.  The configuration of the new interchange is shown in the illustration below.

The existing bridge over I-70 will have new approach slabs, new rail and curb structures, new guardrails and a waterproofing membrane on the deck. The bridge deck will be overlaid with new asphalt, offering enhanced skid resistance, reduced noise levels and a smoother surface. Drainage improvements will also be made. The work has completion date of October 31, 2012.

The total project cost will be approximately $12 million—from the Environmental Assessment to design and through construction. The funding came from several sources other than CDOT: the Town of Parachute, Garfield County, Battlement Mesa Company, and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). Additionally, the gas production companies of Encana and Williams are providing $150,000 per company per year for the calendar years of 2011 and 2012 (yielding a total of $600,000). CDOT is contributing $6 million.

“This interchange project was originally planned for construction in calendar year 2013.  A team effort and partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, Garfield County and CDOT accelerated the final design and construction by one year,” CDOT Resident Engineer Roland Wagner said. “When opened this fall, the new Exit 72 West Parachute Interchange, coupled with the new Parachute Parkway Bypass, will relieve the Town of Parachute from the heavy truck traffic pressure that is currently experienced at Exit 75 to the east.”

TRAVEL IMPACTS: During construction there will be single-lane closures on both eastbound and westbound sections of US 6 and across the overpass bridge. Work hours are anticipated to be Monday through Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Motorists should expect traffic slowing through the area.

INFORMATION: Please call the project hotline at (970) 414-0611 or send an email to i70.[email protected] with questions or comments.

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.

I-70 Parachute Interchange