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CDOT Asks Industry Experts For I-70 Ideas

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) – The state Department of Transportation is inviting industry experts to offer suggestions on easing traffic through the Twin Tunnels near Idaho Springs on Interstate 70.

Twelve industry experts will meet with local officials Monday to discuss the problem, and the team will have four days to come up with possible solutions, the Summit Daily News reported.

Team members will be paid a $1,000 stipend.

“This may be an opportunity to get a new look at this,” said CDOT Region 1 Director Tony DeVito.

Clear Creek County officials call the Twin Tunnels a key “pinch point” for I-70 traffic, slowing traffic between Idaho Springs and Floyd Hill.

To ease overall I-70 traffic, CDOT has proposed using shoulder space for a third eastbound lane on peak-travel days. But that would only be effective to the Twin Tunnels, where there’s no extra shoulder space and traffic would go back to two lanes in each direction.

“You are not really solving anything until you solve that bottleneck,” Clear Creek County Commissioner Kevin O’Malley said.

There are no proposed solutions yet for the Twin Tunnels.

“We’re hoping that there’s a unified vision of … what’s going to make sense so we can start exploring some of these concepts,” CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said. “We know that something has got to give on I-70. It’s just very difficult balancing so many ideas of what that is.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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