End of summer brings more I-70 lane closures along the mountain corridor

News Release

September 18, 2020 - Mountain Express Lane work increases near Idaho Springs; overnight hours extended

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY — Crews building the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane will extend evening and overnight work hours on both weekdays and weekends through the fall. Motorists can anticipate delays of up to 15 to 20 minutes during evening hours.

The project to build a 12-mile long westbound Express Lane from the Veterans Memorial tunnels to the US 40/Empire interchange is on track for substantial completion by the end of this year, but a lot of work remains to be done through Idaho Springs between Mile Points 239 and 242 including:

  • Installing utilities under all lanes of I-70

  • Removing the existing center median barrier, widening on both sides of I-70 to add 11 more feet of lane width, and building back the center median

  • Continued paving of the 12-mile stretch of westbound lanes

To complete this work, the contractor will close one westbound I-70 lane during evening hours both weekdays and weekends through mid-November. Motorists can expect various eastbound I-70 lane closures as well, but on the weekends, eastbound I-70 lanes will not close until 8 p.m. so people headed to the high country for the day can make the return trip with minimal impacts. To further minimize travel delays, all lanes of I-70 will continue to be open during daytime peak travel periods.

Drivers should also be aware of upcoming shifting lane alignments from Mile Point 240 to 241 in Idaho Springs, outlined in the graphic below. 

Water Wheel Park Detour


Evening and overnight lane closures can be expected in both directions of I-70 between Mile Points 243 (Hidden Valley/Central City Parkway) and 232 (US 40/Empire Junction) along with various on-ramp and off-ramp closures. The lane closure times include:

  • Mondays through Thursdays - single lane closures are planned in both directions of I-70 between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

  • Fridays, single westbound I-70 lane closure will occur from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. and eastbound I-70 lane closure from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. 

  • On the weekends, single westbound I-70 lane closure from 4 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Sundays; single eastbound I-70 lane closure from  8 p.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays and from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Sundays.  

The lane closure schedule could change depending on the weather and other factors. 


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:


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!


The project is converting the shoulder to an Express Lane on 12 miles of westbound I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnel to the US 40/Empire interchange.  Similar to the eastbound lane already in use, the westbound managed lane will feature traffic management systems to improve traffic flow and provide drivers with a reliable, time-saving option during peak travel periods.  Significant construction is expected to be complete by end of 2020 with the Express Lane tolling to begin in 2021. 



Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for all of us, particularly for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, CDOT maintenance and construction crews follow social distancing and other health safety measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. The public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO by practicing social distancing and wearing face masks. As traffic returns to normal levels, motorists must drive cautiously and heed the speed limit so all of us can return home safely.