CDOT begins the I-70 Genesee wildlife crossing project

Travel Advisory

November 3, 2022 - Denver Metro - This is the first major wildlife crossing to be constructed on the I-70 Mountain Corridor

Jefferson County — The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin work on the I-70 Genesee wildlife crossing project in early November. This is one of several I-70 Floyd Hill Early Projects advanced to improve traffic flow and safety ahead of construction of the $700 million main project. The I-70 Genesee wildlife crossing project will consist of constructing a wildlife underpass going under I-70 between the exits for Lookout Mountain and Genesee (Mile Point 254.5). Additionally, crews will place wildlife fencing along both east and westbound I-70 that extends from the Genesee Exit (Exit 254) to the Lookout Mountain Exit (Exit 256).

“The new underpass at I-70 Genesee is the first major wildlife crossing to be constructed along the I-70 Mountain Corridor, and it will allow wildlife to safely cross underneath the interstate at a location which has historically been a hotspot for wildlife related crashes,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Reducing animal-vehicle conflicts and improving wildlife connectivity is a major element to the overall improvement of travel time reliability, safety, and mobility in the I-70 Floyd Hill project area.”

Genesee wildlife underpass located between exit 254 and exit 256 on I-70

“In our ongoing work to improve Colorado’s statewide infrastructure and further invest in our Colorado way of life, I am delighted to see wildlife crossings are a priority. These structures are proven to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions by as much as 90%, ensuring safe passage for our wildlife across habitats that remain connected and accessible, and saving millions of dollars in medical and property damages for our motorists,” said First Gentleman Marlon Reis.

Construction requires crews to shift traffic on I-70 beginning in early November, 2022. Motorists should watch for narrowed lanes in the construction zone, but three lanes will be maintained in each direction of travel. Impacts to traffic are expected to be minimal.

Crews will construct two new I-70 bridges and then will excavate under the bridges to create the wildlife underpass (see rendering below). Once the underpass is complete, crews will install the wildlife fencing. Lawrence Construction, of Littleton, is the prime contractor for this project. The project is expected to be completed in spring of 2024.

Rendering of the I-70 Genesee wildlife underpass

This project will improve safety along this stretch of the highway. This area has the highest number of wildlife-vehicle collisions on the I-70 Mountain Corridor east of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel. The wildlife underpass and fencing will help prevent these types of crashes in the area.

Traffic Impacts

To build the wildlife crossing, crews will construct a temporary traffic shift on I-70 between Lookout Mountain and Genesee. Three lanes of travel will be maintained in both directions, but due to narrowed lanes motorists must use caution through the work zone. Beginning in early November, there will be intermittent single-lane closures on weekdays on I-70 in both directions, resulting in up to 15-minute delays.

  • There won’t be lane closures during holidays and weekends
  • The speed limit will be reduced to 55 MPH through the work zone
  • There will be 11-foot width restrictions on vehicles through the work zone
  • Impacts to traffic are expected to be minimal.

Once the project is complete, motorists will be traveling on the two new I-70 bridges with the wildlife underpass underneath.

Project Information

For additional information about this project:

Know Before You Go

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.
  • 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!

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