Construction to reduce I-70 lanes near Eisenhower Tunnel

The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin work midweek on Interstate 70 just west of Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel.

The project is expected to last until fall 2022 as crews work on a failing emergency access tunnel under the highway. CDOT says that structure is crucial to the integrity of the busy road.

The westbound side of the highway, which expands typically to two lanes past the tunnel, will be held to two lanes for 2.6 miles.

“In order to prevent major traffic impacts, we’re using a tried-and-true strategy for managing construction projects in this area,” said Regional Transportation Director Michael Goolsby. “By extending two westbound lanes further west from the tunnel and closer to Silverthorne and Exit 205, we’re preventing a bottleneck from developing for westbound traffic. Three uphill eastbound lanes will be maintained throughout the duration of the project.”

The existing functionally obsolete structure known as “the box” was built during the original construction of I-70 in the 1960s. The replacement is said to improve the structural integrity of I-70 in that location and ensure safe access for emergency services to motorists and efficient maintenance and plowing operations.

The project will pause come winter, allowing all six lanes of I-70 traffic to be open at — regular speeds — for the 2021-2022 winter ski season. Work will resume in the spring of 2022, hoping that the project is complete at the end of summer.

Eastbound I-70 will be unaffected in the area. Motorists should anticipate possible delays, but closures down to a lane will be very limited and only at night.

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