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Kraemer North America Starts Massive Colorado Project

Tue June 27, 2023 - West Edition #14

This rendering shows the new configuation of the Colorado highway when construction is completed.
(CDOT photo)
This rendering shows the new configuation of the Colorado highway when construction is completed. (CDOT photo)
This rendering shows the new configuation of the Colorado highway when construction is completed.
(CDOT photo) Colorado officials, including Clear Creek County Commissioner Randy Wheelock, U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jared Polis, and CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew throw a ceremonial first shovelful of dirt at an Interstate 70 groundbreaking event.
(CDOT photo) The I-70 Floyd Hill Project will be constructed in three sections — East, Central and West.
(CDOT photo) (L-R): Gov. Jared Polis, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse listen to the details of the Interstate 70 expansion project  from  CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.
(CDOT photo)

Kraemer North America and the Colorado Department of Transportation announced the start of construction on the I-70 Floyd Hill Project, which will improve mobility and increase safety along an 8-mi. stretch of the I-70 Mountain Corridor from west of Evergreen to eastern Idaho Springs.

The project received $700 million in state and federal funding and is a part of Gov. Polis administration's 10-year infrastructure plan.

"The I-70 Floyd Hill Project is many years in the making," said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. "From initial scoping to completion of the National Environmental Policy Act process in February 2023, we are now ready for construction. Moving the project forward was a collective effort from many partners including elected officials, local, state and federal agencies, environmental and recreation groups, first responders and numerous community organizations. We couldn't be where we are today without their input, support and ultimately their endorsement of the project."

The I-70 Floyd Hill project will:

  • Add a third westbound I-70 travel lane in this two-lane bottleneck. This new lane will be a full-time, tolled Express Lane from just west of Homestead Road (Exit 247) through the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Colorado Blvd./Idaho Springs (Exit 241);
  • Rebuild bridges due to use, wear and tear and heavy usage;
  • Construct a missing 2-mi. section of the frontage road between U.S. 6 and the Hidden Valley/Central City Parkway interchanges, which will improve emergency response;
  • Build an extended on-ramp from U.S. 6 onto eastbound I-70 for slow-moving vehicles to have more room to merge;
  • Improve traffic flow and access at interchanges and intersections;
  • Improve sight distance and safety by straightening roadway curves;
  • Improve the Clear Creek Greenway trail;
  • Implement environmental mitigation to enhance wildlife connectivity, air and water quality, stream conditions and recreation; and
  • Install two permanent air quality monitors.

"The I-70 Mountain Corridor, particularly at Floyd Hill, is the gateway to Colorado's mountains and a critical economic and tourism route," said CDOT I-70 Floyd Hill Project Director Kurt Kionka. "Increasing traffic volumes, tight curves and steep grades — which are often exacerbated by weather — require a project that will improve travel time reliability and safety. By eliminating the bottleneck at Floyd Hill, the project will significantly ease congestion and decrease the number and severity of crashes."

With construction anticipated to stretch through 2028, CDOT and Kraemer North America are committed to minimizing impacts to residents and motorists. The project will be built in three phases.

Construction will begin on I-70 in the East Section of the project, a 4-mi. stretch that spans from County Road 65 to the bottom of Floyd Hill. Over the summer of 2023, crews will focus on building the work zone, excavation, wall construction, drainage work and rock scaling and blasting to create room for roadway improvements. Crews will perform rock blasting and scaling for 20 minutes and then reopen the roadway, but motorists can anticipate up to 45 minutes of delays. Blasting is anticipated to occur two times per week through early 2024.

During construction, the existing travel lanes will be maintained in each direction of I-70 during peak travel hours. However, overnight lane closures on I-70 will occur semi-regularly. Work will conclude in late 2028.

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