Vail underpass construction pauses for winter
VAIL — On Wednesday, crews restored the North and South Frontage roads in Vail to two-way traffic, commencing a winter slowdown on the Colorado Department of Transportation and town of Vail’s Interstate 70 Vail underpass project.
Also beginning Wednesday, access to the Gore Creek Trail on the east end of the project site reopened to pedestrians and bicyclists. Pedestrian sidewalks along the South Frontage Road will be installed in the spring, so pedestrians are advised to use the Gore Creek Trail until then. Along the North Frontage Road, the North Recreation Path will be open in its new at-grade alignment, adjacent to the North Frontage Road.
Bus Service Back to Normal
Additionally, Vail Transit bus service returned to its normal operations for the winter once the frontage roads reopened to two-way traffic — the West Vail Green Line service resumes, and the frequency of West Vail Red Line buses returns to normal.
Motorists should be aware that the area is still an active construction zone with reduced speed limits. The area beneath the underpass will remain closed to vehicles and pedestrians throughout the winter and Phase 4 of construction and will open when the project is complete at the end of November 2017.
There is the potential for minor work beneath the underpass during the winter, although no lane closures, night or weekend work is expected.
“We are certainly pleased with the amount of work that has been completed on the project. We’ve spent the last four months transforming the Vail frontage roads — excavating more than 70,000 cubic yards of dirt, lowering the road 15 feet, relocating 23,000 feet of utilities and constructing retaining walls to support the new underpass,” said Matt Figgs, CDOT project engineer. “While work is complete for the season and crews are packing up for the winter, there is still plenty of work to be done when we return in the spring.”
One-Way Traffic during Phase 4
The one-way traffic configurations on the frontage roads that motorists have become familiar with throughout the past several months will again be implemented when construction resumes for Phase 4 in April. When the project resumes, the focus will be building the underpass roundabouts. The area beneath the underpass also needs to be built, including brick pavers, curb and gutters and lighting elements. In addition, crews will do final restoration work in 2017.
The I-70 Vail Underpass project will add an additional underpass near I-70 mile point 175, connecting North and South Frontage Road between the Vail Town Center and West Vail interchanges. The project does not construct additional I-70 exits and interchanges into the town of Vail. The project is scheduled for completion in November 2017.