News

CDOT extends daytime lane closures on the I-70 mountain corridor to complete Express Lane construction this year

October 9, 2020 - Metro Denver Area, Colorado - Motorists should prepare for delays as construction hits the home stretch

Clear Creek County — Starting next week, the Colorado Department of Transportation will extend weekday lane closure hours on the westbound I-70 mountain corridor in exchange for completing significant construction and opening the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane for testing by the end of this year.  There will also be a major traffic shift on eastbound I-70 in Idaho Springs for construction activities.

Weekday lane closures beginning 1 p.m., with up to half-hour delays expected on westbound I-70:

Beginning Monday, Oct. 12 through mid-November, single lane closures on westbound I-70 at various locations between Veterans Memorial Tunnels and the Empire Interchange will go into place as early as 1 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and will continue through the overnight hours until 9 a.m.  On Thursdays, there will be single lane closures from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.  The majority of the construction activity will be focused in Idaho Springs between Mile Points 242 and 239. Drivers can expect up to 30 minute delays, with the heaviest delays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.  Motorists are advised to adjust their travel plans on the westbound corridor to the morning hours when all lanes are open. 

These extended closure hours will allow crews to do final asphalt paving work when temperatures are warmer. 

Westbound I-70 traffic volumes historically decline in the weeks between the change in fall foliage and the start of ski season; another reason CDOT waited until now to enact these daytime closures. While daytime lane closures can cause delays, the tradeoff is having the westbound Express Lane open in time for this ski season and delivering a safer, more reliable travel experience. Along with improving travel times into the High Country this winter, finishing the significant road work this year will provide some relief to Clear Creek County residents and businesses.

Tolls will be waived when the new Express Lane opens for testing: 

When the new westbound Express Lane opens, tolls will be waived until later next year, well after the ski season ends.  The lane will be open to traffic during peak travel times and operate as a shoulder the rest of the times, similar to the eastbound I-70 Express Lane.

Major traffic shift on eastbound I-70 in Idaho Springs: 

Along with these westbound lane closures, eastbound I-70 motorists should drive with caution through a traffic shift that goes into place Sunday night, Oct. 11, near Mile Point 240 in Idaho Springs. Shifting the two eastbound I-70 lanes in this area will provide the room needed to widen the I-70 corridor to provide the westbound Express Lane. *Please see the graphic at bottom of the release.  

Eastbound Express Lane closure:

The eastbound I-70 Express Lane will close for construction activities starting Sunday night, Oct. 11  until Nov. 13.  The lane will reopen for tolling use on Nov. 13, or earlier if traffic volumes warrant. 

Weekend lane closures:

Because traffic volumes are still relatively high during the evening hours on the weekends, CDOT is pushing back westbound single lane closures on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

Extended lane closure schedule from Oct. 12 to mid-November:

(Schedule subject to change depending on weather and other factors)

Westbound I-70 single lane closures (various sections within 12-mile construction zone from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels  to the Empire Interchange

Hours of closures

Eastbound I-70 single lane closures 

Hours of closures

Mondays - Wednesday

1 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Mondays - Thursdays

7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Thursdays

5 p.m. to 9 a.m. 

Fridays

9 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Fridays

6 p.m. to 10 a.m.

Saturdays

7 p.m. to 9 a.m. 

Saturdays

8 p.m. to 10 a.m.

Sundays

4 p.m. to 6 a.m. 

Sundays

8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The eastbound I-70 Express Lane will close 24/7 from Sunday night, Oct. 11 until Nov. 13, or earlier depending on traffic needs.

Temporary traffic pattern in Idaho Springs:

Eastbound I-70 traffic is scheduled to be shifted in between barriers beginning Sunday night, Oct. 11, for up to two weeks.  The traffic shift is necessary for the reconstruction of the new westbound Express Lane.

Motorists must slow down, stay in their lane and drive with care. 

I-70 WB Express Lanes

STAY INFORMED

More information is available at: 

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:


REMEMBER: SLOW FOR THE CONE ZONE

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Be patient!

ABOUT THE PROJECT 

The Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane will be a managed toll lane along the westbound lanes of I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to the Empire Interchange.  Similar to the eastbound lane already in use, this 12-mile long managed lane will feature traffic management systems to reduce congestion and provide westbound drivers with a reliable, time-saving option during peak travel periods.  The project is also improving the alignment of the road and repaving the surface to improve safety and make for a smoother drive.  Construction started in July 2019 and is scheduled for significant completion in 2020 with the Express Lane open for motorists by end of 2020.  Tolls will be waived until later in 2021. 

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal