Weekly Closures End with Opening of Clear Creek Canyon Tomorrow

June 28, 2012 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Public-Private Partnership to enhance Canyon Communications.

JEFFERSON COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation reopens U.S. 6 though Clear Creek Canyon at 10 a.m. tomorrow, ending the week-long highway closures that have been taking place since early May.

U.S. 6 had been closed to all traffic from Sunday night to Friday morning for the last eight weeks, allowing fiber optics to be installed along the highway, which will provide cell phone coverage and other services into an area where it is currently unavailable.  CDOT also conducted other operations in the canyon while the road was closed, such as rock mitigation and tunnel lighting work.

In addition to providing cell phone coverage, which is expected to be activated by late July or early August, the new fiber optic line will allow CDOT to access the fiber at 32 locations for a variety of uses, including:

  • Variable Message Signs – providing real-time information on highway conditions, including trip travel times, giving drivers estimates on how long their trip will take
  • Closed circuit traffic cameras – allowing real-time information to be relayed to traffic management centers and traveler information web sites
  • Call boxes – providing reliable communications to dispatch centers  in case of accidents or other emergencies

The work was part of a public/private partnership that involved a fiber optic lease agreement between CDOT and Crown Castle International, one of the country’s largest wireless operators.

As part of the agreement, CDOT will be able to access the company’s fiber line and use other equipment, which is worth approximately $2.6 million. CDOT, in turn, gave Crown Castle a right-of-way easement for placement of the fiber optic line. Crown will maintain the fiber line for 20 years, including repairs and emergency response to outages.  This aspect of the agreement is renewable through the partnership.

Crown Castle owns, operates and leases towers and other infrastructure for wireless communications, providing coverage to most carriers in the United States.