I-70 closed at Eisenhower Tunnel [UPDATE: Now open]

Photo Credit: daBinsi (Flickr); stock photo.

A series of construction projects near the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel on Interstate 70 is expected to cause delays and closures over the next few weeks, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). 

On May 2, crews began work on the east and westbound Interstate 70 from Silverthorne towards the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel. 

"Work will include a 2-inch hot mix asphalt overlay, installing new guardrail, repairing the end transition rails and bridge rails and culvert installation," according to the department. 

The project is expected to cause delays in both directions between 7 AM and 7 PM, CDOT warns.

"Drivers should stay observant of variable lane widths, changing travel conditions and nearby projects during construction," CDOT said. 

Beginning in mid-May, CDOT will start work on a structure replacement west of the tunnel.

"The structure, also known as 'The Box,' is used as a turnaround for CDOT maintenance and emergency first responders," CDOT said. 

According to the department the structure is in poor condition and "functionally obsolete."

During the duration of the project, the far right lane in the westbound direction will be closed to the public. Various lane closures could be possible in the eastbound direction, according to CDOT.

"The scope for this project includes removal and replacement of the current structure, reconstructing approximately 1,900 feet of the access road at the roadway approaches, shifting westbound I-70 lanes south as needed for construction phasing, erosion control, and drainage improvements"

As early as June, high-priority maintenance projects will begin in the tunnel including: 

  • Upgrading the drainage, plumbing, and heat tape of the tunnel
  • Upgrading the water treatment facility to modern standards
  • Moving the fire department hose connection from the roadway to allow better access during events
  • Repairing the tunnel liner to prevent water from infiltrating both tunnels
  • Repairing barrier and structural elements throughout both tunnels
  • Replacing, repairing, and inspecting grout beds that support the tunnel wall panels in the Eisenhower Tunnel
  • Roof repairs

"Full tunnel closures should only occur a few times throughout this upcoming construction season. These will follow the lane closure strategy and will take place during the night. The detour would be over US 6 Loveland Pass," said Region 1 Deputy Communications Manager of CDOT Presley Fowler in an email.

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