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CDOT's paving project to kick into high gear early next week on westbound I-70 in Idaho Springs

Posted at 7:14 AM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 09:30:14-05

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — It's no secret in Colorado that Interstate 70 traffic can cause quite the headache, but early next week may be particularly tough on drivers around Idaho Springs.

Construction crews are set to get as much paving done as possible Sunday through Tuesday on westbound I-70 near Idaho Springs, and drivers may experience delays up to two hours in peak travel times.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said it hopes to pave as much of the interstate near Idaho Springs as possible before long-term wintry weather moves in. The paving is part of the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane project.

Crews can only pave the interstate during daytime hours when temperatures are relatively warm. However closures will continue through the evening for other aspects of the project.

One lane of westbound I-70 will close around Idaho Springs (mile point 241-239) during these times:

  • 3 p.m. into the night Sunday, Dec. 20
  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday, Dec. 21
  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 22

The above dates and times may change depending on the weather.

CDOT said motorists should expect up to two-hour delays during peak travel times next week.

To avoid the traffic, CDOT recommends leaving early to get by the Idaho Springs area before the work begins.

There are no closures planned from Wednesday through Dec. 28.

If crews need more time to pave, they will resume that work in the spring, CDOT said.

CDOT said it hopes the Westbound I-70 Mountain Express Lane project will be able to open the new express lane as soon as possible — hopefully early 2021. Once this opens, tolls will be waived through the summer or fall of 2021, once tolling infrastructure is ready for use. When completed, there will be a 12-mile long Express Lane on westbound I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to the Empire Interchange.