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CDOT Plans Something New To Ease I-70 Mountain Traffic

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An image of Interstate 70 during a traffic jam in December 2011. (credit: CBS)

An image of Interstate 70 during a traffic jam in December 2011. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4/AP) – It’s a new take on an old theme — metering.

Officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation are planning to try traffic cycling to untangle weekend traffic jams at the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel on Interstate 70.

“What we’re trying to do is help that process. So when traffic backs up if we can somehow keep traffic going more smoothly into the tunnel but slowly, at least it will be moving instead of stopped,” CDOT spokeswoman Stacey Stegman told CBS4.

The plan calls for installing traffic signals above eastbound Interstate 70 on the west side of the tunnel that will cycle every 4 to 8 seconds so that vehicles only stop briefly before entering the tunnel.

A test of continuous-flow metering will begin Dec. 8. The first few tests will use flaggers to funnel traffic.

If the tests are successful, CDOT will use the system during the holidays and beyond.

This is the latest in a series of ideas CDOT has been testing to help traffic move along the I-70 mountain corridor. Last year they tried using a pace car, and on Wednesday they admitted that didn’t work very well.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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