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Westbound I-70 to close next weekend in Denver

This marks the last one-directional full weekend closure between Colorado Boulevard and Quebec Street.

DENVER — Westbound Interstate 70 is scheduled to close between I-270 and Colorado Boulevard for paving operations starting Friday, Aug. 6 as part of the Central 70 Project.

Westbound I-70 will close Friday, Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 9 at 5 a.m., according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The closure was originally scheduled for July 30 through Aug. 1, but was rescheduled due to forecasted thunderstorms.

CDOT said closing a stretch of I-70 to complete all of the paving over a weekend eliminates months of nightly lane closures. It also ensures the road will be smoother and safer, as there will be fewer seams in the asphalt.

This closure is the last one-directional full weekend closure in the center segment between Colorado Boulevard and Quebec Street.

Starting Tuesday, Aug. 10, traffic will be in its final alignment in the center segment with some additional punch list items that crews will work to finish throughout the summer. By fall, crews will have completed eight miles of the 10-mile Central 70 Project, said CDOT.

Credit: Colorado Department of Transportation

CDOT said the full weekend closure of eastbound I-70 the weekend of July 16 went well and traffic is now driving in its new, final configuration.

In May, CDOT announced seven fossils, including a camel, were found between Oct. 16 and 19, 2020, as construction work took place on the new lowered section of I-70.

"We've got over a million cubic yards of material that we will eventually move out of this lowered section," said Central 70 Project Director Bob Hays. "We were digging down by the Union Pacific Crossing, and we came across a fossilized camel, and yes, camel is what I said."

The fossils, which included a tooth, dated back to the Ice Age, according to Paul Murphey, a paleontologist with Paleo Solutions. Once the Central 70 Project is complete, Murphey said his company would provide CDOT with a report of the items found and donate them to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

RELATED: How does the water drain from I-70's new underground tunnel?

RELATED: Fossilized 'humpless' camel unearthed at Central 70 Project site dates back to Ice Age

The Central 70 Project, which broke ground in 2018, will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 70, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 56-year-old viaduct and lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado Boulevard.

CDOT said traffic would 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.codot.gov.

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