The project to add an extra lane eastbound Interstate 70 through the Twin Tunnels is now expected to cost $100 million. Originally the project was estimated to cost $60 million.
The Colorado Department of Transportation had a couple of options on with this project. They could work in the tunnel at off-peak times, with various lane closures and even full closures, but that could take up to five years to complete.
Instead they are going with a more aggressive option which will cost more, but will complete the project in just six months.
Stacey Stegman from CDOT told me, “It is much more costly to find a way to just work 24 hours a day to get a project done sooner, rather than just working a shift and drawing it out for multiple years.”
Traffic will be detoured onto the frontage road allowing crews to work around the clock in the tunnel. The road will be upgraded to handle the extra traffic load, which also added to the cost of the project.
Stegman says the extra $40 million will come from a robust special emergency fund and shouldn’t affect other projects.
If all goes as planned, CDOT says the project will start April 1, 2013, and be completed by October.
About The Blogger
– In the Traffic Blog Joel Hillan writes about highways to avoid, trouble spots throughout the city of Denver and construction issues. He is always interested in hearing about your traffic problems, so send him an email. Also, follow Joel on Twitter at @JoelHillan.