All eastbound lanes have been reopened at the twin tunnels along I-70 near Idaho Springs, Colo., after a nine month construction project widening the tunnel from two lanes to three.
The $106 million Twin Tunnels Design and Construction Project was created to alleviate congestion along the I-70 Mountain Corridor. The project includes work to expand eastbound I-70 from Floyd Hill to Idaho Springs, including the eastbound side of the Twin Tunnels. In addition, the project calls for the reconstruction of the bridge over Clear Creek in order to diminish the curve at Hidden Valley.
State-of-the-art blasting techniques were used by contractor Kraemer/Obayashi to widen the eastbound tunnel.
On Monday, Dec. 9 at 5 a.m. crews began to switch traffic from the detour that has been in place throughout the project to the final configuration through the tunnel. To complete the realignment, crews worked around the clock in order to open the lanes within 72 hours.
While crews worked to get the lanes reconfigured, eastbound I-70 was reduced to one lane. For a portion of the traffic switch, one lane of eastbound I-70 was open on the existing detour route and eventually moved to its final alignment through the tunnel. All major construction is now complete on this project; finish work will be completed at a later date.
For updates on this project, visit www.coloradodot.info/projects/i70twintunnels.