Installation of variable speed limit signs on Interstate 70 in Dowd Canyon begins in May

Travel Advisory

April 24, 2024 - Northwestern Colorado - Motorists encouraged to plan for overnight work with single-lane closures

Eagle County — The Colorado Department of Transportation and its contracting partner, Lumin 8 Transportation Technologies, will begin improvements in early May along Interstate 70 in Dowd Canyon. The anticipated completion date of the project is early fall of 2024.

The project will install 18 variable speed limit signs along I-70 in Dowd Canyon from Mile Point 169 to MP 173. A variable speed limit sign is an electronic version of a regular speed limit sign. Each VSL sign has an LED display of the regulatory speed limit number (i.e. the enforceable speed limit) which can be changed to best suit conditions on the highway. The VSL signs will change the speed along this stretch of I-70 as needed based on traffic speed and volume, weather conditions, road conditions and traffic incidents.

“The key purpose behind the new signs is to improve safety on the I-70 mountain corridor,” said Region 3 Transportation Director Jason Smith. “VSLs react to real-time congestion and incidents on the corridor, reducing speeds to a reasonable limit when needed. This helps to prevent crashes and ‘stop and go’ traffic. VSLs have been shown to improve safety and operations on highways nationwide.”

While working on the project, a roadway weather information system will be installed. The system is essential for providing real-time weather updates to drivers, especially on a busy interstate like I-70, where adverse weather conditions can significantly affect road safety. By alerting drivers of unsafe road conditions and potentially closing the highway during severe weather, it can help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of travelers. Guardrails will be replaced along the project limits which will prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway and may prevent far more serious crashes. Erosion control measures will be implemented to prevent soil erosion and to prevent debris from entering the roadway.

Nearby CDOT Projects

There are several CDOT projects in the area during the 2024 construction season. Travelers are encouraged to check for the most up-to-date information about traffic impacts and to select the best route. Projects are the US 6 and Post Boulevard Roundabout, I-70 Mile Point 170.5 Essential Wall Repair Project, I-70 Dowd Canyon Variable Speed Limit Sign Project, and the US 24 Resurfacing south of Minturn project. All four projects will be underway by June 2024.

Traffic Impacts

Traffic impacts will include:

  • Nighttime work hours range from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday
  • Motorists can anticipate single-lane closures during working hours
  • The work schedule is weather dependent and subject to change

Map showing ocation of I-70 Variable Speed Limit Signs project in Dowd Canyon, Eagle CountyI-70 Variable Speed Limit Signs project located between Eagle and West Vail, from MP 169 to MP 173

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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