I-70 Structure Replacement construction enters winter shutdown

Travel Advisory

November 22, 2021 - Northeastern Colorado - Project is one of two located west of the Eisenhower Tunnel

SUMMIT COUNTY — The I-70 Structure Replacement: West of the EJMT project has begun a planned winter hiatus. The project to replace a failing emergency access structure beneath Interstate 70 is on schedule as it enters the winter construction shutdown. The underpass, which is only open to authorized vehicles like snowplows, ambulance services and law enforcement, will be accessible to these vehicles during the winter shutdown.

Work Accomplished in 2021

Project crews safely managed five traffic switches and three separate girder installations while maintaining reliable interstate travel, at times in challenging high-alpine weather conditions. Sequential shifts of westbound and eastbound I-70 traffic allowed the project team to install girders and build the new bridges along I-70 in tight right-of-way conditions. Concurrently, crews demolished the old box culvert below the highway and began building the new underpass.

Season Shutdown

Weather conditions permitting, minor construction activities off of I-70 will occur in early November. Then, from November 2021 until April 2022, no lane closures or construction work are expected for the I-70 Structure Replacement project. Motorists are encouraged to drive with caution, especially during the winter with unpredictable weather and road conditions.

I-70 Repaving Project Continues

Separate from the I-70 Structure Project, there is a repaving project underway on westbound I-70 between Silverthorne and Frisco. Work hours for the CDOT and United Companies project are during the day and take place Monday-Thursday, weather permitting. Westbound I-70 travelers should plan for an additional 30 minutes of travel time while passing through the area during work hours. Eastbound traffic is not affected. On the west side of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel, the far-right westbound lane on the west side of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel has been reopened. No work will take place during the Thanksgiving holiday. Drivers are encouraged to visit COtrip.org for real-time updates on road maintenance, construction, restrictions and road closures.

Work Remaining in 2022

Project crews will return in April 2022, with several operations remaining.

Bridge Construction

From May to September 2022, crews will maintain two westbound and three eastbound lanes using various lane closures. The project will first construct the remaining eastbound bridge, median guardrail and concrete barrier. Once bridge and median construction are complete, crews will repave and restripe I-70 through the project limits.

Underpass Construction

Reconstruction of approximately 1,900 feet of the access road and completion of the new underpass will provide safe access for emergency services to assist motorists and more efficient maintenance and plowing operations.

Erosion Control & Finishing Work

When work resumes in the spring, another primary focus will be finer detail work; namely erosion control measures, landscaping and aesthetic components. Much of this work is temperature-dependent and needs to be completed during warmer temperatures.
The project team would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the Summit County community for their patience and collaboration during construction. CDOT is looking forward to completing the project in 2022.

About the Project

The existing structure, a single-lane concrete box culvert, was built in the late 1960s during the original construction of I-70. It is currently in poor condition and is functionally obsolete.

When complete, the new underpass will improve the structural integrity of I-70 in that location and ensure safe access for emergency services to motorists, as well as efficient maintenance and plowing operations. The new structure will be widened to 36 feet, which will accommodate two-way traffic and improve the approach turning radius.

The scope for this project includes removal and replacement of the current structure, reconstructing approximately 1,900 feet of the access road, shifting westbound and eastbound I-70 lanes as needed for construction phasing, erosion control and drainage improvements. Work will resume in spring 2022 and the project is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2022.

Project & Travel Info

For additional information about this project, contact the project team.

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.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • 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.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

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.