Construction season in full swing
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For more information about road closures and construction projects across the county, visit www.cotrip.org.
EAGLE COUNTY — For the Colorado Department of Transportation, there are two seasons: winter and construction. And the snow isn’t falling anymore.
Wednesday morning’s Interstate 70 eastbound backup from Dowd Junction to Vail was due to maintenance crews repairing a guardrail at exit 173, said Tracy Trulove, of CDOT. It was a one-day project and is not anticipated to continue impacting the area, she said.
“In the mountains in particular we have a really short window of opportunity to do construction projects,” Trulove said, citing temperatures as the reason roadwork doesn’t happen until summer.
Across the county, the following five projects are currently underway.
I-70 VAIL UNDERPASS
The town of Vail and CDOT have partnered on the $21.4 million project to build an underpass beneath I-70, connecting the north and south frontage roads between the Main Vail and West Vail exits.
The project has entered its second phase, with each of the frontage roads restricted to one-way travel for the short distance through the construction site. These restrictions will be in place through November.
Trulove said the Vail underpass project has been hitting all of its marks and that it’s “quite a feat” what they have accomplished already.
The project is expected to be complete in December 2017.
I-70 VAIL CHAIN STATION
The $4.8 million I-70 Vail chain station improvements project includes widening the interstate, installing a wall, drainage improvements, water quality improvements and installation of lighting and cameras.
The project is expected to be completed in November with work hours limited to the daytime. Trulove said the project’s impact on I-70 traffic is minimal.
I-70 VAIL PASS BARRIER
Work on the Vail Pass barrier replacement is expected to be completed in 2017, with a winter shut-down scheduled for Nov. 1. Work begins at 7 a.m. each Monday and ends at 7 p.m. each Friday.
The $6.5 million project will upgrade the 23,000-linear-foot Vail Pass barrier and improve the bridge rail on six structures.
Trulove said work on this project is a challenge because traffic is narrowed to one lane around cone zones.
I-70 EAGLE-VAIL BRIDGES
The work being done to the I-70 bridges at Eagle-Vail will add an estimated 30 years of durability to those bridges and is scheduled to be completed in July.
The $8.1 million project repairs and retrofits bridge joints, the bridge deck and 600 cracks. Crews will also perform scour mitigation and pave the bridge’s deck.
I-70 EDWARDS INTERCHANGE
Phase 2 of the I-70 Edwards interchange project includes design improvements for the southern half of the Edwards Spur Road, starting north of the roadway bridge and ending with the connection to U.S. Highway 6 to the south, a distance of about 0.4 miles.
Design is anticipated to include road and bridge widening, intersection improvements and pedestrian mobility improvements.
From Denver to Vail on I-70, a project is currently adding highway cameras, weather stations, fiber optic cable, traffic detection systems and an Ethernet conversion of Intelligent Transportation System networks.
Work is expected to be completed during daytime hours, Mondays through Fridays through October.
CDOT is constantly operating with safety in mind.
“In this area of distracted driving, drivers need to understand that there’s folks out there on the roadway,” Trulove said. “It’s really set up to be safe for the traveling public as well as our crews.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and email@example.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.