I-70 Exit 26 Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) Project Closes Down for Winter

December 18, 2013 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Traffic Switch to DDI Configuration Postponed Until Project Re-opens.

GRAND JUNCTION--The Diverging Diamond Interchange Project (DDI) at Exit 26 on I-70 will go into a winter shutdown effective today.  Project officials had planned on switching traffic to the new DDI configuration Tuesday evening, December 17, however, the traffic switch has also been postponed until better weather returns to the Grand Valley.

The cold temperatures are inhibiting progress on critical work activities.  Jim Sampson, Lawson Construction's Project Manager, said that "Work such as concrete barrier and sidewalk, striping, seeding and other items that require warmer temperatures are driving the schedule.  Snow and cold temperatures that hit the area two weeks ago have stopped progress on these important elements."

"Without many of these features in place, most notably the striping and safety elements, we do not want to put the DDI into its final configuration at this time," said CDOT Resident Engineer, Rob Beck. "We anticipate that the DDI will be well received and will improve the driving experience and safety, but a DDI isn't the sort of thing you can partially implement.  We want it to be right when we introduce the new configuration to the public and to do that, we need to have many of these critical items in place before we convert to the new configuration,” he added.

The work requires several continuous weeks of warmer weather to complete.  And rather than risk inferior work, further inconvenience to the traveling public by having construction workers on site, and to minimize safety concerns for the public and the workers, CDOT and Lawson have agreed to suspend work until the weather improves.

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: The project closure for the winter is effective immediately and construction on the project has stopped.  Over the next few days, the contractor will be placing all of the traffic control devices, directional signage, and other work needed to maintain traffic in its existing configuration through the winter shutdown period. One lane of traffic will be open in each direction on US 6 & 50 until the project is re-started.  Work on the project will begin again when the snow is gone and the ground has thawed, likely in March or April.  However, work could be restarted prior to March if the weather turns better before then. When the project does start up again, the traffic will we switched over to the DDI configuration and work on the remaining off-line improvements such as landscaping, sidewalks and revegetation will be done. This work will take 3 – 4 weeks to complete and some lane and shoulder closures will be required. The speed limit will remain reduced to 35 mph until construction is complete.