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Colorado: I-70 repairs will require single-lane closures

Work to take place Sunday-Thursday nights through October

Colorado travelers can expect some lane closures along I-70 the next few weeks as CDOT repairs the road surface.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Road and bridge work along I-70 will require overnight lanes closures between Vail Pass and Chief Hosa the next few weeks, with scheduled for completion in November. Crews will be crack sealing, as well as paving a two-mile segment through Idaho Springs.

Drivers can expect single lane closures on eastbound or westbound I-70, Sunday through Thursday nights, as follows:

  • Eastbound between Vail Pass and Silverthorne – 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Eastbound through Idaho Springs – 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Westbound through Idaho Springs – 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The speed limit is reduced to 45 mph through the work zone. Lane closures are a maximum of two miles long and work can alternate between eastbound and westbound I-70, depending on how the project is progressing. Traffic slowing is possible due to the single lane configurations.

“Crack sealing is a preemptive strike against road deterioration because it extends the lifespan of the highway – both the surface and sub-surface,” said CDOT resident engineer Russel Cox.  “It prevents pot holes from developing and that’s a safety enhancement as well. We see it as a lower cost treatment in the short-term that saves money in the long-term.”

A-1 Chipseal Co. of Denver, CO. is the contractor for the $1.6 million project.

Additional information is available by calling the project hotline at 970-344-4664.

Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this or other CDOT projects is available at www.cotrip.org or by calling 511.  To receive project updates via e-mail, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including I-70 West, Denver to Glenwood Springs.

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Colorado: Highway lynx crossings documented

Study tracks north-south movement with more than 10 years of data

“Due to the poor precision of telemetry location estimates and the amount of time elapsed between locations, the straight line movement paths depicted in this analysis DO NOT represent exact or even approximate locations where lynx crossed I-70.” ~ Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Continue reading

Colorado: Twin Tunnels survey work will require short I-70 closures, as CDOT prepares for highway improvements

CDOT will close I-70 next week for short periods to survey the Twin Tunnels area for future highway improvements. Photo courtesy CDOT.

New tunnel bore planned to ease eastbound traffic

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Athletes may have popularized the “no pain, no gain” motto, but the same might hold true for improvements along the I-70 corridor, where preliminary work on adding new eastbound capacity to the Twin Tunnels area will result in some short closures of the highway in both directions.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is surveying the hillside above the tunnels to prepare for drilling a new bore, and that work could dislodge rocks and send them tumbling down on to the road.

The 20-minute closures are set for July 25 and 25 at 6 a.m., 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and again on July 26 and 27 at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Eastbound traffic will be stopped at West Idaho Springs – Exit 239; westbound traffic at the top of Floyd Hill – Exit 247.

If the work is not completed next week, another day of analysis will be scheduled for Monday, July 30, with stop times in next week’s traffic advisory.

The closures are necessary to maintain the safety of the traveling public since crews will be surveying numerous areas above I-70.

“Traffic can’t be allowed through the area during those times since it’s possible for rocks to be dislodged and come down onto the highway while the crews are traversing the slopes above,” said CDOT’s  I-70 Mountain Corridor Manager Jim Bemelen. “We understand it’s an inconvenience for travelers but safety is our first priority. The surveying needs to be completed before we can move forward and begin reconstructing the eastbound bore.”

Upon approval of the Twin Tunnels Environmental Assessment, CDOT will add one eastbound lane to I-70 from the East Idaho Springs Interchange to U.S. 6, including expanding the eastbound tunnel to accommodate three lanes.

I-70 lane closures continue for the next several weeks, not including weekends and holidays.

To receive project updates via e-mail, visit http://www.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including I-70 West, Denver to Glenwood Springs. Updates also are available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/coloradodot.

Colorado: ‘Sinkhole’ blocks one lane of eastbound I-70

CDOT hopes to repair highway in time for weekend traffic

A sinkhole has closed one lane of eastbound I-70 east of the Twin Tunnels.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Department of Transportation officials said a couple of weakening mine shafts beneath I-70 may have caused a 15-foot hole to open up in the left lane of the highway, just east of the Twin Tunnels.

The left lane of the highway will remain closed while crews work to repair the hole, estimated to be about 14 feet wide. Traffic will be rerouted to the shoulder to allow for two lanes of eastbound traffic.

Biggest pothole ever? CDOT offiicals said mines beneath I-70 may have caused this damage to the highway, in the left lane of eastbound I-70. Photo courtesy CDOT.

No injuries or damage to vehicles was reported, CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said.

Traffic will be channeled into one lane during the night to enable CDOT crews to begin fulls-cale repairs. Wilson said the lane could be back in full operation by Friday July 20) afternoon.

Get highway updates by calling 511 or via email by visiting www.coloradodot.info and clicking on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including I-70 West, Denver to Glenwood Springs. Updates also are available via Twitter @coloradodot.

Welcome to Summit County’s open-air dump

I-70 rest stop needs some TLC

This garbage was neatly bagged and placed deliberately on the sidewalk at the westbound I-70 scenic overlook, probably in hopes that someone else would pick it up — which I did. The contents were typical travel fare: Kids’s juice boxes, fast-food wrappers and so on.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — After an early morning trek along Straight Creek with some volunteers monitoring forest regeneration, I drove back to Frisco via I-70 to avoid the cyclists on the Dam Road. Almost every time I go this way, I make a short stop at the I-70 scenic overlook, just because it offers such a stunning view of the county.

Most locals probably don’t stop there very often, if at all. After all, why would you stop in the middle of a short three mile commute between Frisco and Dillon, unless you’re a photography freak like me?

But I know that, for many visitors and passers-through, this spot is the very first stop they make in the county and we all know about first impressions. So it’s a mystery to me why there is still no garbage receptacle at the rest area — and it’s a mystery to many of the travelers I’ve spoken with there over the years.

I wrote a story about this for the Summit Daily back in 1996 or 1997 early in my stint as an earnest cub reporter, reporting that nobody — not the county, nor CDOT or any of the local towns — wanted to take on the burden of maintaining a trash facility at this spot. It’s Summit County’s little Bermuda Triangle of trash, and it’s  kind of sad to see that nothing has changed in all those years. Continue reading

Colorado: Lane closures and delays along I-70, as CDOT improves traffic signage, plans for new Twin Tunnels bore

New info signs going up; inspections and survey work at the Twin Tunnels

Eastbound I-70 travelers will some lane closures and delays between Silverthorne and Idaho Springs the next few weeks.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — It could be tough going on and off for eastbound travelers on I-70 between Silverthorne and Denver this week, as the Colorado Department of Transportation adds electronic traffic information signs and works on the eastbound bore of the Twin Tunnels, near Idaho Springs.

The inspection and survey work in the tunnel is in preparation for a major project next year that would add a third lane at the highway chokepoint. One lane of I-70 will remain closed through June 8. CDOT expects the lane closure to be lifted by 10 a.m. and drivers should anticipate delays approaching the tunnel, especially during daytime hours. Traffic stops may also take place during night hours. Continue reading

Colorado: I-70 surveys show growth of car-pooling

In-depth info could help corridor stakeholders plan new ways to reduce congestion along the busy mountain corridor

Many Colorado skiers say they’d be willing to pay a toll for an extra lane on part of I-70.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — A mid-winter survey of skiers and snowboarders at the three Dinosaur parking lots in Morrison has yielded a “goldmine of information” for resorts and stakeholders along the I-70 corridor, with detailed data on car-pooling patterns, which people might be induced to ride public transit to resorts and whether skiers and snowboarders might be willing to pay a toll for an extra lane of traffic on the busy corridor.

More data came from automated traffic counters at the entrance of the Woolly Mammoth lot and from a series of questions posed to the RRC Associates Colorado Snowsports Enthusiasts Panel.

Overall, carpooling from the Dinosaur lot leads to a 60 percent reduction in the number of vehicles, with one carpool vehicle leaving the lot for every 2.4 vehicles that enters. Most cars entering the lot were solo drivers; by contrast, each car leaving the lot had, on average, 3.3 people aboard. Continue reading

Morning photo: Shrine Pass wildflowers

Colorado wildflowers

Paintbrush dominates this meadow near Vail Pass.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Near the summit of Vail Pass, along Interstate 70, is one of the best and easiest places to get into the flower-rich meadows of the Colorado high country. Since you’re already at about 10,000 feet, you don’t have to hike a long way to reach some of the most scenic spots between Summit County and Vail. And if you’re willing to drive along  the unpaved Shrine Pass Road, you can enjoy the wildflower meadows from the comfort of your car — although it’s always better to get out and hike for a spell. Continue reading

Colorado: Final I-70 study released

Transit, traffic management and highway improvements eyed for mountain interstate; public comment period open through April 11

CDOT, feds release final I-70 study for public comment through April 11.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — No big changes in the final version of the massive environmental study for the I-70 corridor, released this week and open for public comment through April 11.

Click here to visit the CDOT I-70 website with all the related documents and comment information.

The preferred alternative in the final study includes three main components, including non-infrastructure projects related to traffic and traffic-demand management, an advanced guideway system (train or monorail) and highway improvements.

The non-infrastructure projects include increased enforcement, programs for improving truck movements, driver education and promoting high-occupancy travel and public transit.

The advanced guideway system is supported by a CDOT commitment to fund studies to determine the viability of an advanced guideway system, even though there’s already plenty of documented evidence showing that such a system is feasible.

Highway improvements include six-laning the interstate between Floyd Hill and the Twin Tunnels, improvements to Empire Junction, an eastbound auxiliary lane from the Eisenhower Tunnel to Herman Gulch, and a westbound auxiliary lane from Bakerville up to the Eisenhower Tunnel. Continue reading

Long-term I-70 plan based on adaptive management

Some future improvements dependent on traffic ‘triggers’

High-priority improvements on the eastern section of the I-70 corridor. Click for a larger view.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Transportation planners say both new lanes and mass transit are needed on the I-70 corridor to have any meaningful impact on highway congestion. A transit component, in the form of an advanced guideway system, would add enough additional capacity to ease congestion also improve accessibility and mobility along the corridor — and give travelers different options in the corridor depending on their travel purpose.

The draft study is open for public comment through Nov. 8. Click here to view the study and to find out how to comment. Continue reading

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