I-70 Mountain Corridor: Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Continental Divide

Several independent road improvement projects taking place between the Veterans Memorial Tunnels in Idaho Springs and Loveland Pass at the top of the Continental Divide will help make travel along the I-70 mountain corridor safer and more efficient.

Select each menu below for more information on each project. CDOT is managing these projects collectively to minimize traffic impacts, and ensure the mountain communities along I-70 remain open and accessible to local residents, tourists, and recreationists.

Construction of the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane between the Veterans Memorial Tunnels and the US 40/Empire interchange will continue until the end of 2020 with Express Lane testing continuing through early 2021. During construction, both westbound general purpose lanes will be open during peak travel periods, but drivers will encounter narrower lanes, shoulder closures and concrete barriers along the roadway to separate construction work zones from moving traffic.

With changing roadway conditions and crews working right next to moving traffic, I-70 drivers are encouraged to follow posted speed limits and drive distraction-free. To stay updated on roadway conditions, click on the CDOT Alerts icon at the bottom right, and click here for more safe driving tips.

I-70 Mountain corridor map

Construction of the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane began in July 2019. Similar to the eastbound Express Lane already in place, this 12-mile long lane will extend from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels in Idaho Springs to Empire Junction. Once complete, the westbound Express Lane will feature traffic management systems to improve mobility and provide westbound drivers with a reliable, time-saving option during peak travel periods.

Construction of the Express Lane is expected to be completed in late 2020, with testing of the tolling system features continuing until spring 2021 before the lane can open.

Travel Impacts

This project will entail shoulder closures and westbound lane closures during non-peak hours, but much of the construction can be done while keeping both westbound lanes open by staging construction equipment in the eastbound Express Lane. This will minimize inconveniences to drivers by providing access to mountain destinations and events.

Learn more.

Construction of the new sound wall along the Silver Plume on-ramp to westbound I-70 near Mile Point 225 is complete. Click on the learn more button to see photos. 

In early May, work will begin to raise the manholes in both bores of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels at the Continental Divide. This work needs to be done prior to resurfacing the driving surface through both tunnels. This paving work will begin as soon as the manholes are raised and will continue through early June. If the paving work isn’t finished in June, it will resume in September. Travel impacts will include daytime and nighttime single lane closures in May and June and again in September. Nighttime single lane closures will continue through the summer.

The challenges of driving through Colorado's high country and the presence of work zones in various places along the I-70 corridor make it critical for everyone to drive safely. Click here for tips on how you can stay safe during your drive along the I-70 mountain corridor.

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