Senate endorses I-70 "zipper" lane |

Senate endorses I-70 "zipper" lane

David Gidley/Special to the Vail DailyOne snowboarder in Vail says it once took him seven hours to get from Beaver Creek to Denver because of traffic Interstate 70 jams like this one in the eastbound lanes leading to the Eisenhower Tunnel.

DENVER – The Colorado Senate has endorsed adding a “zipper” lane on Interstate 70 to ease weekend traffic.

Senators unanimously passed a bill Wednesday that’s aimed at prodding the Colorado Department of Transportation to move ahead with the idea.

CDOT is already studying whether it’s feasible to use moveable concrete barriers to temporarily add an extra eastbound lane, called a “zipper” lane, on Sunday evenings when people head home from weekend trips to the mountains. The extra lane would extend for about 15 miles, leaving one westbound lane.

The bill would make it clear that the department can hire a private company to add and remove the lane. Backers would like to see the extra lane in use by next January.

The bill now moves to the House.

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