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Eastbound I-70 will be closed all weekend in Denver

The four-year old Central 70 Project will shift traffic once again in the heart of Denver.

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will close eastbound Interstate 70 for a traffic shift in the heart of Denver this weekend.

Known as the "1, 2 Shift," the traffic shift will close eastbound I-70 between Washington Street and Interstate 270 from Friday, July 15 at 10 p.m. to Monday, July 18 at 5 a.m.

The closure will allow CDOT crews to prepare the roadway for the first of two traffic shifts to happen over the next few months.

The first shift will move all three lanes of eastbound I-70, between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards, south into their new and permanent alignment by Monday.

CDOT said the new lanes will run underneath the newly constructed portion of the eastbound half of the cover park. The Express Lanes between Washington Street and Colorado Boulevards will open in phases for testing throughout the next few months.

Westbound I-70 traffic will stay in its temporary alignment as crews work to remove the barrier that once separated east and westbound traffic in the future westbound lanes.

Once the barrier is removed along I-70 this fall, CDOT will place final pavement and move traffic into its final alignment on westbound I-70 between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards, which will be the second and final traffic shift for the Central 70 Project.

CDOT said by this fall, after four years of construction, the Central 70 Project will reach substantial completion as all lanes along the 10-mile stretch will be in final alignment.

The Central 70 Project's first major shift, also known as the "Mile High Shift," occurred in May 2021, when CDOT moved all six lanes of I-70 traffic between Brighton Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard from a viaduct to a lowered section of road. The traffic configuration marked a new chapter in Colorado’s history, with the interstate moving 30 feet below ground.

The Central 70 Project, which broke ground in 2018, is reconstructing a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 70, adding one new Express Lane in each direction, removing the aging 56-year-old viaduct and lowering the interstate between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards.

CDOT said traffic should be in its final configuration by late 2022 with landscaping, installation of park elements and additional items continuing through 2023.

More information on the $1.2 billion project is available at Central70.CDOT.gov. Motorists can use COtrip.org or CDOT’s COtrip Planner mobile app to plan alternate routes.

RELATED: Portion of I-70 to close near Glenwood Springs Wednesday

RELATED: Eastbound I-70 closure planned this week in DeBeque Canyon

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