I-70 Frontage Road - East of Idaho Springs
What is the I-70 Frontage Road Improvements Project?
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has initiated the I-70 Frontage Road Improvements project as part of the commitments from the I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The goal of this project is to develop context sensitive solutions (CSS) for the Frontage Road to provide enhanced safety and mobility for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Project ideas will be developed and studied in coordination with the Project Leadership Team and will be evaluated for environmental impacts in a Categorical Exclusion (Cat Ex).
The frontage road project will be developed in two phases:
- Phase I – State funds are immediately available to provide improvements to a portion of the frontage road. Both local and through traffic will benefit from these improvements planned for construction in the summer of 2012. Approximately $6 million dollars are available for the design and construction. CDOT is working with the I-70 Frontage Project Leadership and Technical Teams (PLT/TT) to identify locations of the immediate improvements. The Phase I immediate improvements are anticipated to begin near the gravel section of CR 314 and extend to the Hidden Valley/Central City Interchange (Exit 243). No federal funds will be used on this phase.
- Phase II – Funding for future construction has not been identified. Phase II will include the remaining frontage road and Greenway construction or reconstruction to full width between eastern Idaho Springs (I-70 Exit 241) and the Hidden Valley/Central City Interchange (Exit 243). Phase II of the frontage road improvements will be developed as funding becomes available for roadway and trail improvements. As cost estimates are being developed, project partners for additional funding are currently being identified.
The final Cat Ex will provide environmental clearance for both Phase I and Phase II of the Frontage Road.
How does this project interact with the Twin Tunnels Environmental Assessment (EA)?
The I-70 Frontage Road project is independent of the Twin Tunnels project, but elements of the Frontage Road are expected to be used as part of the detour during construction of the Twin Tunnels project. Both projects have similar core values and stakeholders. Phase I of the I-70 Frontage Road project is state funded and will provide immediate safety benefits to the existing Frontage Road with construction starting in Spring/Summer 2012. It is anticipated that Phase I of the Frontage Road project will be completed in time for use as part of the detour for Twin Tunnels improvements.