This week marks the first part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s large-scale Frisco-Silverthorne project. This work begins under Interstate 70 at exit 205, but there are other projects travelers should be aware of before planning trips along the corridor in the spring and summer.
Originally scheduled for Monday, April 11, work under the I-70 bridge was delayed due to winter weather forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. If the wintry weather continues for the rest of the week, it could be delayed further. For the most part, crews will work this area at night, but there is a possibility of daytime work.
Elise Thatcher, regional communications manager for CDOT’s northwest region, said the department is planning work starting Thursday, April 14. For the project, the left-turn lanes from the exit onto I-70 will be shortened. Even if there will be mainly night work, the lanes will be shortened day and night. They will return to their original length by July 1, Thatcher said.
“Most of the above work on I-70 will take place next season in 2023,” Thatcher said. “I-70 lane closures will also be limited to the CDOT Lane Closure Strategy, which is overnight work and typically 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. for eastbound I-70. There may be traffic impacts just because the crane is visible. If there is daytime construction on I-70 eastbound, there should be two lanes open.
Exact hours for night work depend on location, Thatcher added. On the eastbound portion, estimated working hours are 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. Specifically for work on exit 205, hours are scheduled for 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. after the traffic volume decreases at the end of the ski season.
“All US 6 and Colorado 9 lane closures will be recovered by 6 a.m., regardless of traffic volumes, to avoid impacting morning rush hour traffic,” Thatcher wrote in a statement. E-mail.
Due to other construction, drivers traveling between Denver and the West Slope will see several of the department’s projects on the highway. Grant Anderson, a CDOT engineer, told Silverthorne City Council during its last business session that the department is aware of back-to-back projects and that construction crews will contact the public in the event of traffic delays.
“(Some work will) run into this project on the east end,” Anderson said. “To the east, we will complete the replacement of the structure during the rotation of the crates. Everyone has seen this since last summer. For the public, really our problem and our challenge as a team is that it’s going to feel like a giant work area. We will receive complaints in a single complaint line for unrelated projects, and we will have to manage this. »
In addition to projects west of Summit County, such as on Vail Pass, CDOT is looking to work on several projects east of the county.
Replacement of the structure west of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels
Teams from this project are also expected to return in April. This project is to replace a single-lane concrete culvert, or drainage structure, that was constructed in the late 1960s during the original construction of I-70. Located 2.6 miles west of the tunnels, this project began last year. From May to September, two westbound and three eastbound lanes will be open, but there will be various lane closures.
“The project will initially consist of constructing the remaining eastbound bridge, the median guardrail and the concrete barrier. Once construction of the bridge and median is complete, crews will repave and repaint I-70 through the project boundaries,” CDOT’s project information reads.
CDOT will also complete a new underpass and the reconstruction of approximately 1,900 feet of the access road under I-70.
“When work resumes in the spring, another main focus will be finer detail work; namely erosion control measures, landscaping and aesthetic elements,” the project information continues. “Much of this work is weather dependent and needs to be done during warmer temperatures.”
Speed limit signs between Empire and Idaho Springs
Beginning in 2021, this project focused on installing electronic variable speed limit signs along I-70. Using the LED display, the speed limit can be changed to better suit highway conditions as needed depending on traffic speed and volume, weather conditions, roads and traffic incidents.
In 2022, drivers should expect to see the department begin testing signs between Empire and Idaho Springs. Detection tests for these panels are expected to continue throughout the spring.
Clear Creek Greenway near Idaho Springs
Crews will construct a trail network that includes two project segments near I-70 between Idaho Springs and Dumont at mileposts 235 and 242. No I-70 lane closures are planned for this project, but roadside operations Traffic control and signage will be in effect. to mobilize heavy machinery via Riverside Drive.