Projects

Mile High Shift

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Heads up motorists! The Mile High Shift will move both directions of I-70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards off of the viaduct into the future westbound lanes of the lowered section as soon as late May 2021. This historic traffic shift and demolition of the structurally-deficient I-70 viaduct will mark a new chapter in Colorado’s history, as I-70 will be approximately 30 feet below ground, a nearly 60-foot difference from its current elevation.

This shift allows crews to safely demolish the 57-year-old viaduct and then build the future eastbound lanes of I-70. Motorists traveling on eastbound I-70 can expect a gradual decline into the lowered section at Brighton Boulevard to approximately Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Then, I-70 will level out and gradually incline back to its current elevation by the time motorists reach Colorado Boulevard. 

This new alignment of the interstate will have motorists traveling through the under part of the future cover park for four blocks, between Columbine and Clayton streets. 


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Prior to the Mile High Shift, a weekend closure of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and I-270 will be required to prepare for the new traffic configuration

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The Mile High Shift will include a gradual decline into the lowered section at Brighton Boulevard to approximately Purina.

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Traffic will flow, three lanes in each direction, once the shift is in place. Motorists should be prepared for the potential of slower traffic while entering the lowered section. The lowered section, and tunnel is intentionally designed to allow for normal flow of traffic.

Ramp alignment after Mile High Shift

Westbound I-70

  • Westbound I-70 off-ramp to Colorado Boulevard - open
  • Colorado Boulevard on-ramp to westbound I-70 - open
  • Steele/Vasquez on-ramp to westbound I-70 – open
  • Westbound I-70 off-ramp to Brighton Boulevard – open
  • Brighton Boulevard on-ramp to westbound I-70 - open 

Eastbound I-70

  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Brighton Boulevard - open
  • Brighton Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound I-70 - open
  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to York Street – closed permanently - access via Brighton Boulevard to York Street
  • Eastbound Steele Street off-ramp - to close for four months, open  tentatively for six to eight months, and then close for four months
  • Steele/Vasquez on-ramp to eastbound I-70 – closed permanently - access I-70 via Colorado Boulevard
  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Colorado Boulevard - open
  • Colorado Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound I-70 – open

Ramps that were permanently closed earlier in the Project

  • York Street on-ramp to westbound I-70 – closed permanently
  • Westbound I-70 off-ramp to Steele/Vasquez – closed permanently

FAQ

The new lowered section lanes of westbound I-70 are wide enough to accommodate all six lanes of traffic. This is possible because we are expanding the highway’s width to accommodate one additional lane in each direction, and wider shoulders.

    A series of small lights will illuminate the lanes below. Once eastbound and westbound I-70 traffic is in its final configuration, more than 1,700 LED lights will be in place to help promote safety and prevent slow downs as traffic enters the tunnel. More than 80 of these lights will be used for emergency lighting and therefore will be on 24-7. In the instance of a power outage, there is a large generator that will turn on to ensure there will always be lighting in the tunnel, no matter the circumstance.

    Motorists should be prepared for the potential of slower traffic while entering the lowered section as folks become adjusted to the new environment. The lowered section, and tunnel in particular, is intentionally designed to allow for normal flow of traffic without encouraging slower traffic. CDOT strongly suggests motorists to continue flowing at a normal speed through the lowered section to prevent crashes or unnecessary congestion.

    Motorists can expect to be in this configuration for about 18 months, until the future eastbound lanes of I-70 are complete.

    The speed limit on I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers road will remain at 55 mph. 

    The drainage on the cover park is a unique element of this robust system on the Project. As the water falls onto the cover park, it is allowed to seep down through multiple layers before it is collected in an impervious layer just above the concrete bridge deck. It is then channeled into pipes on the north and south side of the park before making its way to the pump station with other stormwater. This stops ponding in the park while preventing water from leaking down onto the highway below.