CDOT Announces I-70 Improvement Project
In June, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced the commencement of a major infrastructure project aimed at relieving congestion and improving traveler safety along the Floyd Hill section of I-70. Commonly named the “Floyd Hill Project”, the improvements will overhaul the 8-mile stretch between Evergreen and Idaho Springs.
The Floyd Hill Project will be completed in 3 phases. Once complete, it should help reduce the number of slow-downs and accidents that lead to closures, ultimately making travel to Summit County and our world-renowned ski resorts easier for travelers coming from the greater Denver area.
We’ve outlined the scope of the Floyd Hill Project to help you understand its impacts on your travel plans between Denver and Summit County, as well as options for you to best avoid travel delays while construction is taking place.
Floyd Hill Project Benefits
- The Floyd Hill Project is in direct response to the bottleneck created by the Floyd Hill section of I-70, the project will address multiple factors to improve travel time.
- Ensure all infrastructure is updated to today’s safety standards.
- Improved traffic flow and safer access at interchanges and intersections.
- Better sight distance and improved design speeds on major curves.
- More effective environmental mitigation for wildlife and improved air and water quality, stream conditions and recreation in neighboring areas.
- Positive impacts on traffic and travel time west of the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel as travelers experience fewer shutdowns from preventable accidents.
Floyd Hill Project Improvement Phases
Phase One - East Section (from County Road 65 to the bottom of Floyd Hill near Johnson’s Gulch):
- Construction started in June of this year and is expected to last until summer of 2026.
- During this first phase of the Floyd Hill Project a 3rd travel lane will be constructed on the westbound side of I-70 from the top of Floyd Hill to connect with the existing Westbound Mountain Express Lane that currently starts at the Veterans Memorial Tunnel. This 3rd lane will be a tolled express lane.
- Wildlife fencing will be installed between Exit 247 and Soda Creek Road.
- An eastbound I-70 climbing lane will be constructed for heavy commercial vehicles or slow-moving traffic from a new ramp that connects US 6 to I-70 eastbound from the bottom of Floyd Hill to the Hyland Hills/Floyd Hill interchange at Homestead Road.
Phase Two - West Section (I-70 from Hidden Valley to Idaho Springs):
- This phase of construction is set to begin in the fall of 2023 and is expected to last until the fall of 2027.
- During this second phase of construction, work will continue on the 3rd travel lane on I-70 westbound through the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Exit 241.
- Curves along this portion of I-70 will be flattened to improve safety and achieve a 55 MPH speed design.
- The bridges over Clear Creek, just west of Hidden Valley will be rebuilt.
- The Clear Creek Greenway trail from the Hidden Valley Interchange to the Veterans Memorial Tunnels will be resurfaced/reconstructed.
Phase Three - Central Section (I-70 from the middle of Floyd Hill to Hidden Valley):
- The final phase of construction is planned to start in the spring of 2024 and expected to last until the end of 2028.
- During this final phase of construction, work will continue on the 3rd travel lane on I-70 westbound.
- Bridges at the bottom of Floyd Hill will be replaced with new structures and alignments to improve safety and sight distance.
- Work will continue along this section of I-70 to flattened curves to improve safety and support a 55 MPH speed.
- The on and off ramps to the Hidden Valley and Central City Parkway Interchange will be relocated from the current on and off ramps from the current US 6 and I-70 junctions to a new frontage road connection.
- A new on-ramp will be constructed from the bottom of Floyd Hill/US 6 to I-70 eastbound to connect to the new eastbound climbing lane completed in the East Section phase.
- The Clear Creek Greenway trail will be reconstructed.
- Portions of Clear Creek will be re-aligned and reconstructed.
Floyd Hill Project Travel Impacts
The Colorado Department of Transportation is anticipating minimal delays to day-time traffic, with most work slated for evenings.
Here’s what motorists can expect during construction:
- Traffic may be stopped for 20 minutes at a time due to rock blasting and rock scaling operations.
- Overnight lane closures and temporary lane shifts.
- Periodic temporary on and off ramp closures.
- Periodic overnight detours of the I-70 and US 6 interchange.
- Short-term closures of I-70 for safety during critical work (continue reading for more information on how to check for closures and how to sign up for travel alerts).
- Temporary closures of the Clear Creek Greenway.
CDOT Efforts to Keep I-70 Moving During Construction
The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced the actions they will take to mitigate travel delays and prevent I-70 closures while construction for the Floyd Hill Project is underway.
Here’s what motorists can expect from CDOT:
- All lanes and ramps will be kept open during peak traffic hours.
- Lane closures will be responsive to current traffic patterns.
- CDOT will utilize innovative methods to construct complex work above the roadway to it won’t impede traffic.
- New roadway sections are currently being built adjacent to existing lanes before construction starts on those sections to keep traffic moving.
Key Takeaways on the Floyd Hill Project
While roadwork on I-70 can create delays for travelers, the Colorado Department of Transportation has worked diligently during the initial planning phases to ensure the extensive work outlined for the Floyd Hill Project will impact motorists as minimally as possible.
Ultimately, this impressive infrastructure project will solve slow down and safety issues plaguing the Floyd Hill section of I-70, creating safer and more efficient driving conditions for those traveling the I-70 corridor west of Denver.
Resources for I-70 Travel
Sign up for email updates on the Floyd Hill Project: I-70 Floyd Hill Project Update Request Form — Colorado Department of Transportation (codot.gov)
Check out the project fact sheet: I-70 Floyd Hill Project Fact Sheet (codot.gov)
Get daily travel updates for the Floyd Hill area: Area Search | COtrip Traveler Information
Learn more about the Floyd Hill Project: I-70 Floyd Hill Project - Construction — Colorado Department of Transportation (codot.gov)
To receive project updates text “floydhill” to 21000.
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