US 6 Clear Creek Canyon is getting a facelift with several projects planned in 2021

April 1, 2021 - Central/Eastern Central Colorado - First project will update lighting in all the tunnels along US 6

JEFFERSON & CLEAR CREEK COUNTIES— Beginning in early April, US 6 Clear Creek Canyon will get a facelift as the Colorado Department of Transportation has several roadway and safety improvement projects planned along the corridor including new tunnel lighting, resurfacing, and trail improvements. Motorists planning to travel US 6 Clear Creek Canyon should expect traffic impacts including lane closures and overnight full closures throughout the duration of the various projects into 2022. No full closures of US 6 will occur during daytime hours and no major impacts will be planned on weekends or holidays. 

The updates to this corridor kick off with the US 6 Clear Creek Canyon Tunnel Lighting Improvements project, starting the week of April 5. This $5 million dollar project involves removing and replacing all existing tunnel lighting for tunnels 1-3, 5, and 6 along US 6 between the intersection of CO 93 & CO 58 and Interstate 70/US Highway 40 near Idaho Springs.

The project will modernize the lighting in all five tunnels by replacing existing lighting with new LED tunnel lights, installing lane traffic control signals at the tunnel portals for use during traffic incidents, and other infrastructure updates. The new lighting in the tunnels will improve safety and visibility in Clear Creek Canyon and will be more energy efficient. The work will be completed in two phases in spring and fall of 2021, with a summer shutdown to accommodate seasonal motorists.

US 6 Tunnel Lighting Phase 1 Schedule and Impacts

The first phase of the US 6 Tunnel Lighting Improvements project includes updating the lighting in tunnels 5 and 6, which is the section of US 6 between CO 119 and I-70/US 40 (highlighted in blue on the map below). This phase begins the week of April 5 and is expected to be completed in June 2021, with a summer shutdown until the second phase begins in October. 

Traffic impacts in the first phase include:

  • Overnight full closures will be necessary to complete this work, which will begin overnight Monday, April 5 at 4 p.m.

    • The full closures will take place on Monday through Thursday nights from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. and on Sunday nights from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. along US 6 between CO 119 and I-70/US 40 (highlighted in blue on the map below)

    • This overnight full closure schedule will remain in place through the month of June. 

  • Detour: All motorists needing to get to Black Hawk or Central City during the overnight full closures will need to access US 6 Clear Creek Canyon at the intersection of CO 93/CO 58 to connect with CO 119.

  • During this first phase, daytime lane closures are possible along the entire US 6 Clear Creek Canyon corridor Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

* Construction schedule is subject to change based on weather/unforeseen circumstances

US 6 Clear Creek Canyon Map

US 6 Tunnel Lighting Improvements Project Contact

Other Projects along US 6 Clear Creek Canyon in 2021

In an effort to enhance the travel and recreation experience along US 6 Clear Creek Canyon, various projects are planned and therefore work on these separate projects may be happening simultaneously. Motorists should expect impacts on this route into 2022 during construction. Below is the expected timeline and more information about each project:

  • Trail improvements:

    • From March through December 2021, Clear Creek County Open Space is constructing a ¼ mile segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail on US 6 between CO 119 and I-70/US 40. Alternating single-lane closures, shoulder closures, and up to 10 minute traffic holds are expected between CO 119 and I-70. Please visit the project web page for more information: 

    • Through summer of 2021, Jefferson County Open Space is continuing work on a 1.75 segment of the Peaks to Plains Trail at the gateway of the canyon off US 6 near CO 93/CO 58. Traffic impacts in this area include short-term delays to get trucks in and out of the work zone, single-lane closures, and possible overnight full closures of US 6 as necessary for critical work such as setting bridges, etc. Please visit the project web page for more information: 

  • Resurfacing June 2021 through approximately July 2022: CDOT has an approximately $20 million dollar resurfacing and safety improvements project planned for 11 miles of the corridor between the intersections of CO 93 & CO 58 and CO 119. This project is expected to begin construction in June of 2021 with a winter shutdown in December and then starting up again in spring of 2022. Impacts are expected to be daytime single-lane closures spanning one mile of the highway. More information will be sent out ahead of this project beginning construction this summer. 

  • Tunnel Lighting Phase 2 October 2021 through March 2022: After the summer shutdown to avoid full closures along US 6 during the busy summer months, the US 6 Tunnel Lighting Improvements project is expected to begin its second phase in October 2021. The second phase will focus on tunnels 1-3 between CO 93/CO 58 and CO 119, including overnight full closures of that section of US 6 between the months of October 2021 and March 2022. 

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:

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.