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.
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