Interstate 70 repairs between Edwards and Wolcott begin Monday
EAGLE COUNTY — Commuters between downvalley communities and upvalley jobs need to plan a little extra time for the drive to work starting Monday.
That’s the day the Colorado Department of Transportation will start an extensive repair project on Interstate 70 between Wolcott and Edwards. That 7.5-mile stretch in both directions — a total of 30 lane-miles — will be resurfaced.
The project will also replace guardrail along several stretches of highway and a deteriorating culvert. In addition there will be repairs made to nine bridges. The Edwards interchange will also see some lighting improvement.
In a release, Karen Berdoulay, the Region 3 Eagle Resident Engineer for the department of transportation, said the work will improve safety and extend the life of the existing bridges.
More than 39,000 vehicles per day travel that stretch of road, so a lot of people will be affected. Through May 15, there will be single-lane closures in each direction. Starting in mid-May, daytime closures will be limited, with more work taking place at night.
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“In our lane closure strategy, we try not to impact peak times,” department spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said.
The entire project is expected to last into early November.
Underpass work resumes soon
In addition to the mid-valley road work, construction will ramp up again April 3 on an underpass linking Vail’s north and south frontage roads.
That project began work last summer with the construction of two new bridges along the interstate. This year’s work won’t affect interstate travelers as much, but travel will be restricted on the frontage roads. Like last year, the best way to get from the resort villages to West Vail will be getting on the interstate. And, like last year, the short stretch of road between the two roundabouts at main Vail will have two lanes running in each direction. That stretch of road went back to one lane in each direction through the winter to accommodate snowplows.
The underpass project is expected to be finished in November of this year.
In addition to the underpass project, I-70 over Vail Pass will also see a good bit of guardrail replacement work along bridges and in other areas. In all, more than four miles of guardrail is set for replacement.
Work will mainly be on the shoulders, and crews won’t work weekends, in deference to tourist traffic.
For the first time in a few years, there are no major construction projects in Glenwood Canyon. Trulove said there’s one project, replacing a garage door in the Hanging Lake tunnel complex. That won’t cause much in the way of delays.
Then there are our potholes. Lots and lots of potholes. Some of the more heavily-scarred areas have already seen temporary repairs, but longer-lasting patches require warm daytime temperatures.
Trulove said repair crews are now determining where to go first.
Off the interstate
Aside from the state-maintained highways, there’s plenty of work going on in the towns of Vail and Avon.
In Vail, town engineer Tom Kassmel emailed a list that includes:
• Work on Slifer Square on the north side of the Covered Bridge. That work includes re-building the storm sewer and fountain, and putting heated pavement along the bus lanes. Pending approval by the Vail Town Council, construction is expected to take place between April 24 and June 27.
• From May through October, work at the East Vail interchange will include water quality improvements and landscape work.
• September will see a pavement overlay project on Bighorn Road.
In Avon, town engineer Justin Hildreth emailed a list that includes road re-surfacing work on Nottingham Road, Beaver Creek Place and East Benchmark Road.
There will also be road work called “micro-surfacing” along Wildridge Road between Wildwood and Old Trail roads, and West Beaver Creek Boulevard from the railroad tracks to Lake Street.
In short, give yourself a little extra time if you’re going just about anywhere for the next few months. In our two-season valley — winter and construction — someone will probably be working on something somewhere just about anywhere you go.
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org or @scottnmiller.
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