Work to resume on I-70 auxiliary lanes project on West Vail Pass
Upcoming virtual engagement includes information about work, traffic impacts and recreation trail reconstruction
In early April, work will resume on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s I-70 West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes project. Residents, freight carriers, tourists and other travelers can learn more about this year’s construction activities during a virtual engagement open house on Thursday, March 31.
Work to improve safety and operations on Interstate 70 from the East Vail exit at mile marker 180 to the Vail Pass rest area exit at mile marker 190 started last year. The first construction season culminated with the December opening of a new emergency truck ramp near mile marker 182. This year’s work includes relocating a 2-mile section of the Vail Pass Recreation Trail and building two bridges to cross the trail over Black Gore Creek. The section of the trail between mile markers 185 and 187 needs to be moved farther from I-70 to facilitate the addition of an eastbound I-70 auxiliary lane and the realignment of substandard curves.
Other work planned for 2022 includes completing the westbound highway closure system at the mile marker 190 interchange, starting construction on the westbound I-70 bridge at mile marker 185.3 and putting down temporary asphalt for traffic shifts needed during the 2023 construction season.
This year’s work will involve narrowed lanes and shoulders along I-70, single-lane closures and a temporary detour for the recreation trail that involves using the outside shoulder of eastbound I-70. Concrete barriers will be in place to separate this temporary trail from eastbound I-70 traffic. Rock blasting work is also expected this year. During these short blasts, I-70 traffic and recreation trail users will be stopped in both directions for up to 30 minutes.
Construction will occur April through November each year through 2025. Other improvements being made by this project include:
- Adding an eastbound I-70 auxiliary lane with widened shoulders between mile markers 185 and 190
- Modifying curves and widening shoulders along westbound I-70 at mile markers 186 and 188
- Rebuilding the eastbound and westbound bridges at mile marker 185.3
- Building six wildlife underpasses and constructing wildlife fencing
- Installing highway closure systems at both ends of Vail Pass
- Improving signage and incorporating Active Traffic Management systems
- Installing variable speed limit signs
To learn more about the project and the construction impacts for this year, join the project’s virtual engagement on Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m. at bit.ly/vailpassopenhouse. The open house will be conducted using Zoom.
If you can’t log on at that time, the open house presentation will be posted to the project’s website in early April at codot.gov/projects/i70westvailauxiliarylanes/.
For additional information about the project, call the project information line at 970-688-8233, email the project team at CDOT_WVailPassAuxLanes@state.co.us, or visit the project website at: CODOT.gov/projects/i70westvailauxiliarylanes.