IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s not finished yet, but the $100 million project to widen the Twin Tunnels on Interstate 70 east of Idaho Springs cleared a major hurdle on Monday.
It’s been going on day and night for the past few months. There has been a total of 70 blasts this year, which started back in February, clearing rock from around the construction site.
It was April 1 when the detour was put in place, taking cars out of the tunnel so work could begin around the clock. It was a few weeks later when the first official blast took place inside the tunnel. Crews worked from each side of the 635-foot tunnel and on Monday they met in the middle.
Nearly 20,000 yards of rock has been hauled off throughout the blasting operations. It also means this is the last week there will be traffic stops, which parked drivers for up to half an hour, but is meant to keep the traveling public safe.
The Colorado Department of Transportation says it means the project is still on track for three lanes of I-70 to be flowing through the new wider tunnel around the holidays at the end of the year.
CDOT still needs to complete the tunnel liner, rebuild the eastbound I-70 bridge over Clear Creek and add the third eastbound lane from Idaho Springs to Floyd Hill.