The Colorado Department of Transportation and contract partner Elam Construction have begun work on the I-70 West Vail Pass resurfacing project. The project will take place on I-70 from just east of Vail to just east of the Vail Pass summit (mile markers 176-191).
The project will focus on a hot mix asphalt (HMA) overlay, maintenance repairs to several bridge decks, and a guardrail installation that will meet new safety standard requirements.
The HMA will add approximately 10 years of life to the highway and a smoother road surface. It will also eliminate previous ruts and road damage. Crews will focus on repairing bridge joints and weak spots on the bridge decks to strengthen and increase the durability of the infrastructure. The new guardrail will be 31 inches high instead of 27 inches high to help vehicles remain on the road. Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) hopes the improvements will make the highway safer for the traveling public.
“CDOT continues to work diligently to improve I-70 on Vail Pass,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We completed the Vail East to West improvements last winter, and this next project is an important step towards improving the customer experience on this rugged, remote section of a critical section of roadway.”
CDOT will soon begin a larger improvement project with funding from an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant received from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The federal agency awarded CDOT a $60.7 million INFRA grant in 2021, with preparation work beginning this summer.
Starting the week of April 12, a full-time lane closure for eastbound traffic will be in place for approximately two weeks. The closure will allow for concrete work to take place, and will be completed as quickly as possible.
Overall, most traffic impacts will take place during daytime hours until mid-May. At that time, most work will transition to night-time hours in order to reduce traffic impacts for motorists. Additional work on the West Vail Pass resurfacing project will include rumble strip installation, striping, drainage improvements, sign installation and erosion control.
Hours of operation for the project are Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Night work will begin in mid-May; at that time, most work will take place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday night through Friday morning.
Motorists should plan for east and westbound single lane closures, eastbound 12-foot width restriction, westbound 14-foot width restriction, and a reduced speed limit.
The anticipated completion date is October 2021.
More information is available at the project hotline, 970-456-1361, the project email, email@example.com, and the project website, https://www.codot.gov/projects/i70-w-vail-resurfacing.