I-70 Glenwood Canyon Variable Speed Limit Sign Installation

Project Facts

  • Location: A span of I-70 approximately 14 miles eastbound—from mile point (MP) 116.91 to MP 130.93—and approximately 15 miles westbound—from MP 115.88 to MP 131.08
I-70 Glenwood Canyon VSL Sign locations.png

NOTE: CDOT prepared a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to understand and minimize the environmental impacts of this project. As part of that process, CDOT conducted a visual impact assessment. Please contact Michael Curtis with project questions.

Starting in October 2017, crews on this project will enhance safety along the I-70 Glenwood Canyon corridor—identified as particularly hazardous in inclement weather—by installing interconnected weather and road sensors, cameras, speed detection devices, and variable speed limit signs at 17 locations. Work is scheduled through October 2018.

This length of I-70 extends through the Glenwood Canyon corridor, including the Hanging Lake Tunnel (HLT) area, where inclement weather commonly causes poor roadway conditions.

Project Work & Benefits

  • Crews will strategically place and install technology that will monitor weather and traffic conditions, and control speed limits where needed. This includes:
    • installing three weather stations for live monitoring and reporting of weather conditions;
    • installing 73 standard static signs;
    • installing 17 new dual variable speed limit signs;
    • replacing five single variable speed limit signs
    • removing 38 existing static signs;
    • installing nine closed-circuit cameras for live monitoring and viewing of roadway conditions; and
    • adding other surface and subsurface conduit, and related improvements to guide the display of the variable speed limits.
  • This will give drivers advance warning and generate a safer traffic flow to decrease accidents in the canyon.
  • This technology will increase the standard speed limit during good conditions to 60 mph for passenger vehicles and 50 mph for heavy vehicles (over 26,000 gross vehicle weight), in most areas of the canyon.
  • This technology—operated by people and the technology itself—will lower the speed limit to assist with incident management, conditions created by inclement weather, and maintenance and construction.

Why is This Work Necessary?

  • This section of I-70 experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year, causing unsafe conditions for drivers who don't take proper precautions.
  • Based on a recent safety assessment by CDOT, this area sees a high number of crashes involving fixed objects, especially during inclement weather.

Traffic Impacts

  • Short-term shoulder and lane closures throughout construction
  • Minor impacts to the bike path for installation of various speed limit signs along eastbound I-70; sign foundations will be installed north of the bike path
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