I-70 Structure Replacement West of EJMT

Winter Shutdown

Nov. 2021 - April 2022

The I-70 Structure Replacement: West of the EJMT project will begin its winter hiatus Friday, Nov. 19. The project to replace a failing emergency access structure beneath I-70 is on schedule as it enters the winter construction 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

I-70 Repaving Project Continues

  • CDOT has resumed a repaving project on westbound I-70 between Silverthorne and Frisco. Work hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will take place Monday - Thursday, weather permitting.  This schedule is expected to last through the end of November or early December. Westbound I-70 travelers should plan for an additional 30 minutes of travel time while passing through the area during work hours. Eastbound traffic will not be affected.

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:

In March 2020, the Colorado Department of Transportation began design for the replacement of a structure located on a private access road which crosses under Interstate 70 at Mile Post 211, 2.6 miles west of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnels in Summit County. The structure, also known as “The Box," is used as a turnaround for CDOT maintenance and emergency first responders. 

Project Facts

  • Contractor: Kraemer
  • Timeline: April 2021 - December 2022
  • Location: I-70 west of EJMT (MP 211)

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 considered functionally obsolete due to insufficient vertical clearance.

The scope for this project includes removal and replacement of the current structure, reconstructing approximately 1,900 feet of the access road at the roadway approaches, shifting westbound I-70 lanes south as needed for construction phasing, erosion control, and drainage improvements.

The underpass will be widened to 36 feet, which will accommodate two-way traffic and improve the turning radius once construction is complete.

I-70 Structure Replacement Project Map


Timeline 

  • Design: March 2020 – February 2021
  • Estimated Construction: April 2021 – Summer 2022, with a winter shutdown occurring from November 2021 to May 2022

Anticipated Traffic Impacts

  • Reduced speed limit on I-70 from 60 mph to 50 mph.
  • Westbound I-70: Two travel lanes, with the third lane coming out of the tunnel closed during construction. It will reopen during the winter shutdown.
  • Eastbound I-70: Three lanes will remain open during construction.
  • I-70 lane closures in both directions for construction activity will occur during non-peak travel times.
  • Full closure of the current single-lane concrete box culvert structure on the access road for construction from May 1 to November 1, 2021. Westbound I-70 detour will take 19 minutes to circle back to MP 211 and eastbound I-70 will take 8 minutes to circle back to MP 211.
  • Runaway truck ramps on westbound I-70 at MP 212 and MP 209 will remain open during construction.
  • Travel lanes and shoulders widths will vary during construction.

I-70 Structure Replacement Project lane closure illustration