Scheduled Opening of State Highway 103 Bridge Delayed

November 7, 2014 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Clear Creek County – After three months of construction, the Eastbound I-70 Peak Period Shoulder Lane (PPSL) project is well underway, with a projected completion by fall 2015.

October marked numerous milestones for the project, including the demolition of the SH 103 bridge. During excavation of the bridge, naturally occurring groundwater metals such as Lead and Iron were discovered. These metals are often found in areas that have a lot of mineralization in the rocks and are common in historic mining communities like Idaho Springs. When treated, these metals do not pose a public or environmental health threat.

This $72 million Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project is contracted to Mountain Corridor Constructors (MCC), who is in the process of securing a remediation dewatering permit from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). MCC will adhere to stringent guidelines for water treatment that meet CDPHE’s standards and is working with the City of Idaho Springs on water removal arrangements.

This treatment process is expected to take between two to four weeks. During this time, work will continue. Given the necessary groundwater mitigation and the potential for winter weather, bridge completion could be delayed as late as mid-January instead of late-November. Every opportunity for schedule acceleration will be taken, however the first priority is protecting Clear Creek. With construction extending into the holiday season, MCC is taking additional measures to minimize the impact to those who live, work and travel through the I-70 Mountain Corridor. This includes additional signing directing travelers to the Idaho Springs Business District, temporary safety lighting along the bicycle/pedestrian path and special construction schedules during the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

“We fully understand the impact this delay has on the City of Idaho Springs,” said Tony DeVito, CDOT Region Transportation Director. “Our goals are to ensure clear communication with residents and area businesses on our process and find efficiencies in our work wherever possible. The overarching goal is keeping Clear Creek clean and protecting downstream users from any potential contamination. We sincerely thank everyone for their patience as we move forward with this phase of the project.”

Ultimately, the bridge that carries SH 103 over I-70 will be widened from 38 feet to 59 feet to include a center auxiliary lane, wider shoulders for on-street bicyclists, and a much wider sidewalk.

The Eastbound I-70 Peak Period Shoulder Lane (PPSL) project is part of CDOT’s comprehensive plan to improve travel in the I-70 Mountain Corridor.  The PPSL project will provide eastbound operational improvements to relieve traffic congestion during periods when traffic volumes are highest.  This $72 million dollar investment is expected to save motorists an average of 30 minutes in travel time.  Construction of the 13 mile upgrade, between Empire Junction and Idaho Springs, is slated for completion by Fall 2015.

PROJECT INFORMATION LINE:  For additional information about this project or to leave a message, call the project information line at 303-223-6581 or visit  To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page.

For information regarding CDOT projects statewide, log on to,download the CDOT Mobile app or call 511 from anywhere in the state. To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.infoand click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at