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CDOT scrambles to fix mountain roads ahead of looming snow season

August 23, 2023, 10:17 am

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) on Wednesday issued the following press release on its push to repair Colorado’s mountain roads badly battered by the state’s above-average snowfall last winter:

BERTHOUD PASS  – As part of the Polis administration’s ongoing plans to fix Colorado’s roads, Colorado Department of Transportation has teams of contracted and in-house maintenance crews repairing and repaving the state’s most damaged roads, including sections of the Interstate 70 mountain corridor and Berthoud Pass. Both areas took a significant weather related drubbings  from last winter’s severe weather impacts across Colorado. Earlier this year, CDOT requested and received $25 million of additional funding from the Colorado Transportation Commission to address critical pavement conditions across the state. This additional funding allowed this critical work to be done without canceling any construction projects that had already been planned for 2023.

Since then, teams have quickly finalized project plans, putting the largest construction work out to bid and securing the materials and equipment needed to get this work done during an already busy year for the construction industry.

“These important road improvements, including making I-70 and Berthoud Pass faster and safer, help to make sure Coloradans and visitors can get to and through our beautiful mountain communities safely and efficiently. These projects are part of our ongoing work to improve rural roads and save people time and money,” said Gov. Polis. 

“CDOT is relentlessly focused on repairing critical sections of roadways that mountain travelers depend on in advance of the upcoming winter season,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The last winter season was one of the harshest for Colorado, causing potholes and rutted pavement. We are putting that money to work by repairing 12 stretches of roadway across the state, including three along busy sections of the High Country. While CDOT is doing everything we can to minimize lane closure impacts to get the work done, there is still a possibility for traffic delays, therefore, we urge motorists to plan their trips ahead of time and check COtrip for current traffic impact information. These are repairs we know the traveling public wants to see take place, but we know that construction zones can still be frustrating to navigate. We ask everyone to drive with extra care and heed the signs in work zones.”  

Three large projects are underway to address highly-traveled High Country roads:

I-70 Eastbound Resurfacing between the Eisenhower Tunnel and Georgetown

This project started in early August to repave eastbound I-70 from just east of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel (Mile Point 215.7) to the Georgetown on-ramp (MP 228.35), as well as a half-mile stretch of eastbound I-70 at the US 40 Empire Junction (Exit 232). Additionally, crews will replace guardrails.

Timeline: August 2023- Fall 2024 

The project’s focus is paving this stretch of I-70 prior to the upcoming winter season. The project will enter a winter shutdown when weather conditions don’t allow for work to take place. Work will resume in spring of 2024 with a focus on the guardrail and signage replacements.  For more project information, go to (link).

Traffic Impacts: 

  • Single lane closures take place Sunday through Thursday evenings. 
  • Sunday evening working hours are 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. the following Monday.
  • Monday through Thursday evening working hours are 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. 
  • There will not be lane closures during daytime hours, on weekends, or on holidays.

I-70 Eastbound Resurfacing Vail Pass to Frisco

This project will resurface the outside lane of eastbound Interstate 70 from Vail Pass (Mile Point 190) to just before Frisco (approximately MP 201). This will address potholes and damage due to the recent snowy winter.  

Timeline: Work is anticipated to begin early fall 2023, and is estimated to be completed by late fall.

Traffic Impacts: 

  • Daytime single lane and shoulder closures, with 10 to 20-minute delays. Daytime work is necessary due to nighttime pavement temperatures.

US 40 Berthoud Pass

This project will repave a ten mile section of Berthoud Pass from MPs 233 to 243. The highway will be milled and paved at a two inch depth, creating a smoother and safer ride for residents, businesses, and visitors. 

Timeline: August 2023-late fall 2023

Traffic Impacts: 

  • Daytime alternating lane closures and delays up to 20 minutes during working hours Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • The project team will be off the roadway on Fridays to accommodate the increase in weekend traffic that visits the area on a regular basis. 
  • There will be no work over holiday weekends. 
  • The speed limit is reduced to 40 mph through the work zone.

Resurfacing will also take place on Highway 125 near Granby from Mile Point 0 to 10. For information about that work, sign up for the US 40 updates by emailing US40BerthoudPass@gmail.com

The rest of the projects that received additional funding for emergency repairs are listed below:

  • I-76 from MP 2.25 – 2.85 (eastbound only, in Denver): work performed under an on-call contract.
  • US 50 from MP 433 – 434 (north of Lamar): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews.
  • CO 151 from MP 27 – 27.8 (east of Ignacio): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews. 
  • I-70 from MP 81.7 – 86.2 (east of Parachute): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews.
  • CO-94 from MP 54.75 – 55.75 (east of Colorado Springs): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews.
  • CO-257 from MP 16.6 – 17.6 (north of Windsor): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews.
  • US 160 from MP 278.5 – 279 (La Veta Pass): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews.
  • US 350 FROM MP 46.7 – 49.7 (between Trinidad and La Junta): work performed by CDOT maintenance crews.

In addition to the above projects, there are many other projects underway that improve safety and mobility along the I-70 Mountain Corridor. We encourage travelers to familiarize themselves with the various work and traffic impacts by visiting codot.gov/projects/i70mountaincorridor

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