AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A stretch of Interstate 70 in Aurora will be testing drivers’ patience.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is spending $25 million to keep the traffic flowing after an accident or heavy snowfall.


(credit; CBS)

It’s a 2 ½-half mile portion of I-70 that will be dramatically impacted. During most of the next six months a total of four lanes east and west will be dropped to one lane in each direction from Tower Road to East Colfax Avenue.

CDOT says the bridge over Smith Road is substandard and can no longer handle traffic speeding along at 70 miles per hour.

“We are just improving safety in that area, but also the bridge, the bridge is ready to come down,” Crystal Morgan with CDOT said.

Morgan says the bridge isn’t crumbling, but 15 years after being rebuilt, it’s time to build it again.

“These improvements that we’re doing are going to last us far into the future,” Morgan said. “We’re looking at a good decade or so before we need to come out back out here and do it again.”

Construction begins Monday at 8 p.m. That means for six months the highway will be down to one lane heading east. On Feb. 5 the westbound traffic will be cut to one lane until August.

Asphalt will be replaced with concrete and shoulders will be widened.

“Being able to move those vehicles off to the shoulder is going to allow for traffic flow to continue for emergency situations. So you don’t have the all dead stop situation,” Morgan said.

Two miles to the east of Tower Road is Pena Boulevard. CDOT says the road construction should not cause a back-up that would keep drivers from approaching Pena Boulevard and getting to Denver International Airport, but with all road construction, delays are inevitable.


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