Overnight closures upcoming at Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels

October 30, 2015 - Central/Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Safety system testing planned for early November.

STATEWIDE – Overnight closures at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels are scheduled to begin Monday, Nov. 2, to test the fire suppression and heat detection systems installed earlier this year. This work is part of the $20 million Fixed Fire Suppression System (FFSS) project to improve safety at the tunnels.

The westbound tunnel will be closed overnight Monday, Nov. 2, and Wednesday, Nov. 4, and the eastbound tunnel will be closed overnight Tuesday, Nov. 3, and Thursday, Nov. 5. Closures will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night and drivers will be detoured over Loveland Pass.

Because the linear heat detector is located in the centerline of the tunnel ceiling and there are several hundred detectors to test, each tunnel needs to be completely closed. Along with testing each heat detector, crews will test each of the nearly 200 water valves in the system that control water pressure in delivering water to the sprinkler heads.

The night of Monday, Nov. 9, additional water valve testing will be done in both tunnels that requires periodically stopping traffic for about 15 to 20 minutes while water is sprayed on the roadway. Crews will then deice the lanes to ensure they are safe for travel.

The new heat detection system will alert tunnel staff to rising heat levels inside the tunnels, and the suppression system will allow the remote release of water, if needed, without having to enter the tunnels. The system will better protect one of the state’s most valuable highway assets that connects the Front Range with the Western Slope and facilitates interstate commerce and also increase the safety of the traveling public.

This work is weather dependent and the schedule is subject to change.

PROJECT INFORMATION: For more information on this project, visit codot.gov/projects/EisenhowerFireSystem. For information on I-70 travel conditions, visit COTrip.org, download the CDOT Mobile app, sign up for GovDelivery or call 511. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and CDOT’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/coloradodot