IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The state hopes to break ground on a project to widen Interstate 70 between Idaho Springs and Floyd Hill in 2013.

The Colorado Department of Transportation wants to add a third lane to eastbound lanes, including through the Twin Tunnels east of Idaho Springs.

CDOT outlined the plan to residents in Idaho Springs Tuesday evening. Most agree something needs to be done about congestion on the interstate.

“There’s a definite frustration level not only during the winter months but also the summer months,” Tony DeVito with CDOT said. “Mondays are a time when my phone rings with complaints.”

CDOT called the plan to widen the three miles of I-70 the most hopeful. The $60 million project would also straighten some curves in that stretch of the highway.

“What I do know is that we would have to do something about mobility,” said Joan Drury, who is a Clear Creek County commissioner.

Drury said widening the Twin Tunnels is a key to any plan.

“That’s really a pinch point. It always gets slowed down when people going through the tunnels, so perhaps that would make traffic move in a more steady pace.”

Jim Benson lives in Clear Creek County and this is not the first time he’s looked CDOT plans to ease I-70 congestion.

“I’m encouraged because I’m seeing some progress,” Benson said.

No one spoke out against the proposal but there were plenty of questions and even a few suggestions for CDOT.

“I think it’s only part of the solution, it’s not the whole solution,” Drury said. “Personally I’m for some other type of transportation system.”

Others would also like to see another transportation system but that is out of CDOT’s price range right now.

The state transportation commission must still approve the $60 million but CDOT said it expects to get that approval sometime in October.


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