News

CDOT Announces Friday Reopening of Westbound Deck on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon

September 23, 2020 - Northwestern Colorado

Project wrapping up on schedule despite major wildfire, extended road closure and pandemic

GARFIELD COUNTY & EAGLE COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation is excited to announce the reopening of traffic on the westbound deck of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. Crews working on the I-70 Glenwood Canyon Surface Improvements project will complete the important project milestone this week. Westbound traffic will return to the northern deck on Friday. While motorists should expect continued lane closures throughout the canyon, the head-to-head detour will end with the reopening of the traffic deck. (Please see here for our media kit with photos and video of today’s ribbon cutting celebration.)

“Our local communities and statewide travelers know the vital role that I-70 in Glenwood Canyon plays in our state's transportation network,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “For Colorado, this project helps to improve the longevity of this critical infrastructure and ensure the safe, multimodal movement of people and goods.”

OVERCOMING BUMPS IN THE ROAD

The I-70 Glenwood Canyon Surface Improvements project has faced and overcome several challenges over the course of the seven month project duration. Before project work, I-70 westbound road conditions between Hanging Lake and No Name were poor and deteriorating. The driving surface was rough and uneven and several elements were exhibiting wear and beginning to fail.

Construction crews began project work just before the national escalation of the COVID-19 health crisis, and quickly worked to implement safety precautions. Throughout construction, general contractor American Civil Constructors worked to efficiently complete high quality repairs and improvements.

Last month, the project faced yet another challenge when the Grizzly Creek Fire erupted in Glenwood Canyon, causing an unprecedented two week closure of I-70.

“Despite all the challenges this project has faced, the engineering and contracting team have been able to deliver impressive progress,” said CDOT Region 3 Transportation Director Michael Goolsby. “This is a great example of partnership and leadership at its finest.”

TRAFFIC PATTERN CHANGES

Beginning Friday, westbound motorists on I-70 will resume travel on the westbound traffic deck through Glenwood Canyon. East and westbound motorists should anticipate continued lane closures between Bair Ranch (Mile Point 129) and No Name Tunnel (MP 117.6). 

“The project team is thrilled to unveil this newly paved section of I-70 between the Hanging Lake and No Name tunnels,” said CDOT Region 3 Engineer Andrew Knapp. “We are very grateful for everyone’s patience so far and look forward to completing final steps for these important infrastructure improvements in October.”

Remaining work includes barrier installation and a bridge joint replacement. To date, crews have repaired or replaced five bridge expansion joints (a total of six will be completed), replaced a bearing device at the westbound bridge next to Hanging Lake, completed repairs to the westbound bridge deck, placed 95,000 square yards of polyester concrete (approximately 5 miles of roadway length) and upgraded 28 pedestrian ramps to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards throughout the canyon rest areas.

TRAVEL REMINDERS

All rest areas, river put-ins and the bike path in Glenwood Canyon remain closed following damage from the Grizzly Creek Fire. These closures allow CDOT, law enforcement and emergency services to quickly evacuate I-70 and Glenwood Canyon, and to protect travelers and recreationists from possible mudslides, debris flow, rockfall and other hazards.

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 by visiting COtrip.org. To hear current travel times, motorists can call the project hotline at 970-618-5379.

Routes and schedules are subject to change. Motorists and trail users are encouraged to sign up for traffic and trail impact updates by contacting public information via email, [email protected], or phone, 970-618-5379.

MEDIA KIT: I-70 Glenwood Canyon Surface Improvements Project - Ribbon cutting celebration Images and Video (9-23-2020).

I-70 Glenwood Canyon Surface Improvements Project

This eight-month improvement project includes resurfacing I-70 with a placement of thin bonded polyester concrete overlay, replacement of bridge joints and bearings, new pavement markings and ADA ramp improvements at rest areas. Construction will occur within approximately 6.2-miles on I-70 in the Glenwood Canyon, from mile point (MP) 117.6 to MP 125. The project is scheduled to be complete in October 2020.

Polyester concrete overlay is the primary construction activity for this project. Upgrading this section of roadway will minimize the need for annual repairs as this road surface application is more durable and has a significantly longer lifespan than asphalt. This project will provide an improved driving surface and help ensure the longevity and safety of our infrastructure.

To sign up for traffic and trail impact email updates, please contact public information via email, phone, or text.

STAY INFORMED

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!

COVID-19 

Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, construction continues on CDOT projects with 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 and practice social distancing, wear face masks, stay at home when possible, and avoid nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.

WHOLE SYSTEM. WHOLE SAFETY. 

In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.

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