Projects include Dowd Junction, Leadville and Highway 6 work | VailDaily.com
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Projects include Dowd Junction, Leadville and Highway 6 work

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” The mountain may be closing soon, and the thawing ice and snow mean that road construction season is just starting up.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will be starting several road projects, including the last phase of work in Dowd Junction, reconstruction of U.S. Highway 24 near Leadville, repaving U.S. Highway 6 near Eagle, and work on Interstate 70’s No Name Tunnel east of Glenwood.

All that is in addition to regular spring maintenance work of repairing bad potholes and cracks, said transportation spokesperson Nancy Shanks.

The Dowd Junction project begins in late April and will resurface 1.5 miles of I-70 and make guard rail and shoulder improvements. This is the second phase of the project, which began last summer.

However, this year, as a result of complaints from residents and input from town of Vail, all the work will be done at night, Sunday through Thursdays. There will be a construction phone line for comments and questions about the project, Shanks said.

The project also includes widening the highway in East Vail to give truckers room to take off their snow chains.

Eagle-Vail resident Brian Taylor said the construction can be a hassle and cause traffic, but it does not bother him too much.

“There’s a lot of traffic that goes through there, and I’d rather see it smooth and safe. The turn right out of Minturn is especially bad, so I hope they fix that,” he said.

Also, as a longtime resident, he is used to the road construction.

“Hey, it’s Vail,” he said.

The Highway 24 project will widen and make safety improvements to five miles of road north of Leadville.

Guardrails will be added, the slopes will be flattened and there will be a new bridge built over the Arkansas River. The work will start April 9 and is scheduled to end in October.

During the first part of the project, traffic will be detoured onto County Roads 99 and 9, and Mountain View Drive West. After May 9, construction in the canyon will require full 10- to 15-minute traffic stops. Work will be done during the day, but not on weekends.

Leadville resident Laura Griffin drives to work in Vail during the summer, so the construction will force her to take the detour. Taking Highway 91 instead of 24 does not take too much longer, though, she said.

She is glad the road will be fixed, because the pavement is pretty ripped up from winter conditions, she said.

The narrow bridge is also in need of replacement, she said.

“That’s where I had an accident. It’s very narrow, and it was right before the bridge that I went off the road to avoid an oncoming car that swerved,” Griffin said.

A portion of Highway 6 near Eagle will be repaved and the shoulder be widened. The project is in partnership with Eagle County, and other parts of the highway between

Eagle and Edwards will undergo similar work in the next few years.

Work also starts April 7 on No Name tunnel by Glenwood Springs. Work will include replacing the tunnel’s lining, repairing cracks and replacing the guardrail.

The project is scheduled to finish this October, and drivers can expect some delays.

– Dowd Junction project hotline: 328-0542.

– For more information on CDOT projects, see http://www.cotrip.org

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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