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Extended weekday closures along I-70 will impact travel, speed up express lane construction

CDOT said delays of up to 30 minutes should be expected when the closures are in effect.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced that starting next week it will extend weekday lane closure hours on the westbound Interstate 70 mountain corridor in an effort to complete and open the westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane for testing by the end of the year.

Weekday lane closures

Beginning Monday, Oct. 12 and lasting through mid-November, there will single lane closures on westbound I-70 at various locations between Veterans Memorial Tunnels and the Empire Interchange.

Those lanes closures will go into place as early as 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. They will continue through the overnight hours until 9 a.m. the following morning, CDOT said.

On Thursdays, there will be single-lane closures from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: I-70 westbound Mountain Express Lane construction begins next week

The majority of the construction activity will be focused in Idaho Springs between Mile Points 242 and 239. Drivers can expect up to 30-minute delays, with the heaviest delays between 1 and 4 p.m.

Travelers are urged to adjust their travel plans on the westbound corridor to the morning hours when all lanes will be open.

Weekend lane closures

Because traffic volumes are still relatively high during the evening hours on the weekends, CDOT is pushing back westbound single lane closures on Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m.  

The extended closure hours will allow crews to do final asphalt paving work when temperatures are warmer.

Westbound I-70 traffic volumes historically decline in the weeks between the change in fall foliage and the start of the ski season, which part of the reason CDOT said this time frame was chosen for the lane closures.

While the closures will cause delays now, CDOT said the in exchange, the westbound Express Lane will be open in time for the upcoming ski season.

CDOT said completing that project now will improve travel times to the High Country this winter and will provide some relief to Clear Creek County residents and businesses who have been impacted by the construction.

RELATED: Inbound Peña Boulevard to close on 4 nights in October

When the new westbound Express Lane opens, tolls will be waived until later next year, well after the ski season ends, CDOT said. The lane will be open to traffic during peak travel times and operate as a shoulder the rest of the times, similar to the eastbound I-70 Express Lane.

Major traffic shift on eastbound I-70 in Idaho Springs

Along with the westbound lane closures, eastbound I-70 motorists should drive with caution through a traffic shift that goes into place Sunday night, Oct. 11, near Mile Point 240 in Idaho Springs. 

Credit: CDOT

Shifting the two eastbound I-70 lanes in this area will provide the room needed to widen the I-70 corridor to provide the westbound Express Lane.

Eastbound Express Lane closure

The eastbound I-70 Express Lane will close for construction activities starting Sunday night, Oct. 11  until Nov. 13.  The lane will reopen for tolling use on Nov. 13, or earlier if traffic volumes warrant. 

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