CDOT wins five awards in the Engineering News-Record’s Mountain States competition

November 7, 2016 - Statewide Transportation - STATEWIDE- The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) received five awards from the 2016 Engineering News-Records Mountain States Best Project competition for various transportation projects.


Mountain States Best Project awards are judged based on design and construction quality, contribution to the community and the industry, and how a project overcame unusual challenges through teamwork and collaboration.

Awards that CDOT received include:

  • Best Highway/Bridge Project- CDOT Twin Tunnels Expansion Program
  • Award of Merit Highway/Bridge- CDOT US 6 Bridges Design-Build
  • Award of Merit Highway/Bridge- US 36 Express Lanes
  • Best Project and Excellence in Safety Award of Merit- Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels Fixed Fire-Suppression System
  • Best Project- SH 133 Paonia Reservoir Rockfall Mitigation

“It’s an honor to be recognized for several different projects that work to improve the safety of motorists in Colorado,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT executive director. “CDOT thanks all those who teamed up with us to deliver the best transportation solutions that promote efficiency and excellence.”

About the projects:

CDOT Twin Tunnels Expansion Program: CDOT’s $106 million Twin Tunnels Expansion project added an eastbound lane and provides for future westbound capacity and mobility improvements. The added infrastructure will enable managed lane operations in the future. It also reconstructed the eastbound bridge over Clear Creek to flatten the curve at Hidden Valley. This project performed significant surface rock-blasting operations east and west of both tunnels, followed by stream restoration. The Twin Tunnels Expansion project finished on schedule and $3.5 million under the final contract budget.  

CDOT US 6 Bridges Design-Build: CDOT’s $98 million project along US 6 replaced six obsolete bridges between Knox Court and I-25, and eliminated weaving movements between Federal Boulevard and I-25 to improve travel times and safety. Crews increased mobility and access to neighborhoods by adding a dedicated bike lane on the new Knox Court Bridge and by improving connections between trails and the new pedestrian bridge over 6th Avenue. This vital investment and comprehensive community outreach initiatives allowed officials to deliver 10 years’ worth of improvements in just 21 months, saving taxpayers time and money in user, construction and maintenance costs.

US 35 Express Lanes Project: CDOT’s $306 million project along US 36 from Federal Boulevard to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder built an express lane in each direction of US 36 in addition to the two free general-purpose lanes. The Express Lanes accommodate High Occupancy Vehicles, Bus Rapid Transit, which started running in January 2016, and tolled vehicles. In addition, the project replaced several bridges, built a commuter bikeway, added BRT improvements, and installed Intelligent Transportation Systems tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management. Toll commencement began on March 30.

Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels Fixed Fire-Suppression System: CDOT’s $20 million Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels Fixed Fire Suppression System is the country’s first design-build project developed to help protect the traveling public as well as the entire tunnel itself, which is a critical asset to the highway system, in the event of a fire. This project is part of an effort to avoid any closure or long-term damage to these tunnels, which would cost Colorado billions of dollars and impact tourism along the I-70 mountain corridor. Major project elements included: a water-only deluge fire suppression system which is capable of suppressing a large fire (up to 35 megawatts) in the first two minutes of the event; a system capable of providing water for 60 minutes with two deluge sprinkler zones as well as 500 gallons per minute from the existing standpipe system; a new drainage system; and a Fiber Optic Linear Heat Detection system.

SH 133 Paonia Reservoir Rockfall Mitigation: CDOT’s $2.73 million State Highway 133 Paonia Reservoir Rockfall Mitigation project was designed to reduce the risk of rockfall in an area known for daily rockfall, as well as provide measures to capture some material in the event of rockfall. The rockfall mitigation included 500 hours of rock scaling, 4,000 cubic yards of trim blasting, 11,000 linear feet of drilling and anchor installation and placement of 79,000 square feet of anchored mesh along a 1.5-mile stretch of highway.