In the High Country, orange cones and traffic delays are typically confined to the summer months.
But with significant expansion projects underway on highways in and around Summit County, Colorado Department of Transportation officials are planning to work late this year.
Road widening work just east of Idaho Springs on Interstate 70, which includes growing the eastbound bore of the Twin Tunnels to accommodate a third lane, is expected to continue through the end of the year, even on an aggressive schedule.
Blasting, currently being done to widen the tunnel and requiring regular complete traffic stops of up to 30 minutes, is expected to be completed by the end of July or early August, but drivers will continue to see lane closures in the area through late November or December, state transportation officials said.
Crews are avoiding traffic impacts during peak travel times on the highway, but the lane closures may continue to cause slow downs.
On Highway 9 between Frisco and Breckenridge, crews are also working to add an additional lane in each direction, causing frequent traffic delays through the area. That project, too, is slated to run right up until Breckenridge Ski Resort opens or weather conditions make it impossible for construction to continue.
“We’ll be off the road the Friday before they open,” CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said. “That’s always the direction is to make sure we’re not doing anything to impede traffic once Breckenridge resort opens, and usually the weather will make that decision for us anyway.”
The segment of road will remain in its pre-construction configuration — a single lane in each direction, flanked by two-lane sections on either side — through the winter. Work is slated to resume in April or May, depending on the weather, and continue through mid-summer.
This week’s closures
CDOT will be closing a single eastbound lane on I-70 at the Twin Tunnels construction site in the mornings and at night this week.
A lane will be closed from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day from today through Saturday, and tonight crews will shutter a single lane from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Drivers may also experience delays in both directions on I-70 through Ten Mile Canyon and over Vail Pass from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Thursday, when crews will be repairing the guardrail in various locations.
Shoulders will be closed at the I-70/Silverthorne interchange in the eastbound direction from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and Wednesday for sand clean up, and overnight lane closures at the Eisenhower Tunnel will be in place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Saturday for maintenance and sweeping operations.
On Hwy. 9, the road will be condensed to one lane between Agape Church and Coyne Valley Road from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday for bridge construction and a road widening project.
The road will also be closed except for one lane, which will be used for alternating traffic in both directions from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Thursday and until noon on Friday through Breckenridge for conduit installation.
Information on all road closures is available online at coloradodot.info.