I-70 road repair at stand-still
SUMMIT COUNTY ” The Colorado Department of Transportation’s governing commission has authorized $1 million in emergency funds to repair interstate damage caused by rockfall in Glenwood Canyon, but major repair work will have to wait to begin.
CDOT spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said Saturday the state highway agency has taken three different groups of contractors to the scene ” on Interstate 70 between the Hanging Lake Tunnel and Glenwood Springs ” and will continue to accept bids for the repair project.
A deluge of boulders early Thursday morning closed the interstate, forcing commuters and holiday travelers onto a 220-mile detour around the area. Emergency highway crews spent Friday using dynamite to blast additional loose rock and clearing debris from the roadway. About 200 tons of rock fell 1,500 feet from the canyon’s cliffsides, causing an estimated $1 million in damage.
Stegman said CDOT’s bidding process for emergency highway repairs is streamlined compared to the contracting procedures for traditional work. She said CDOT’s administrators and engineers will review plans and designs submitted by companies this week and will begin work as soon as possible.
As of Saturday evening, one lane of traffic each for westbound and eastbound travelers was open.
The holiday exodus
Travelers headed east or west out of Summit County should plan ahead as weather, highway work and high traffic volumes could lead to delays for vacationers headed home. The following are highway construction projects on the major thoroughfares in and around Summit County:
n Highway 9: Work resumes Monday at intersections with Park Avenue and Airport Road north of Breckenridge. Shoulders will be closed, and possibly southbound right turn lanes, as well as lane closures, with the speed limit reduced to 35 mph as crews lay electrical conduit for traffic signals. Crews will also be repairing pavement on Highway 9 near Fairplay, at U.S. Highway 285.
n Interstate 70: Work begins as early as 7 a.m. Monday at Georgetown Hill, near Floyd Hill, Downieville and Idaho springs for a variety of highway projects. Delays will be possible at each location.
One westbound lane of the Eisenhower Tunnel will be closed from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. while workers install lighting and conduit.
For westbound travelers, I-70 may also slow down near Silt and Rifle where crews will be replacing a modular bridge expansion joint and 24 different concrete slabs, respectively. In the Rifle area, the ramp from U.S. 6 to I-70 will be closed through December. Drivers will also encounter work crews near Parachute, Grand Junction and Fruita, with reduced speed limits and possible delays.
For more information on highway work, call (303) 573-ROAD or log on to http://www.dot.state.co.us.
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