I-70 Vail Chain Station Improvements

Project Facts

  • Cost:
    $4.82 million
  • Average Annual Daily Traffic:
    25,000 (I-70 AADT)

Project Team

  • Contractor(s): SEMA Construction

The I-70 Vail Chain Station Improvements project extended the eastbound I-70 chain-up station at mile marker 178.40 about 1,500 feet to the west. Other work included:

  • widening I-70
  • installing a wall
  • drainage improvements
  • water quality improvements
  • installing chain-up lighting
  • replacing existing chain-down station lighting on westbound I-70 at mile marker 178.7
  • installing closed circuit cameras

Work was completed May - November 2016, with work hours confined to daytime. There will also be limited weekend work.

Project Background

In 2012, a CDOT Region 3 study of the I-70 Vail Pass Chain Stations considered alternatives for safety improvements to the chain stations on eastbound and westbound Interstate 70 through Vail. The improvements were proposed to address current deficiencies in the chain stations, which include capacity issues, inadequate lighting and minimal separation between chain station activities and I-70 through traffic.

Potential improvements were presented to the Vail Town Council and general public in fall 2012. Public input was incorporated in the evaluation of the alternatives, and the study was completed in April 2013. The study included a summary of alternatives considered and recommendations for implementing improvements over time, as funding becomes available.

Following the Vail Chain Station Improvements Study, CDOT applied for funding from the Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP) program for a project that incorporated several of the highest-priority improvements identified in the study, as described below:

  • Extend the existing chain station located at MP 178 approximately 1500’ west to address capacity and safety issues resulting from chain station overflow into the I-70 through lanes.
  • Upgrade the chain station lighting to the most current chain station light standard at the existing chain station to improve visibility for truck drivers and the traveling public when the chain law is in effect and to reduce the amount of light pollution for neighboring properties.

The Vail Chain Station Improvement project was selected by the RAMP program, providing approximately $4.5 million in RAMP funding for design and construction.

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