IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – An expansion of Interstate 70 is nearly complete. It will make the drive from the mountains to the Front Range much easier.

The $106 million Twin Tunnels project will widen I-70 eastbound just a couple of miles downhill from Idaho Springs.

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There’s still some work being done on the west side of the tunnel, but it will only be two more months before three lanes of traffic are flowing through there.

Some phases of the highway already have those three lanes open.

After months of blasting out tons of rock, the work to line the inside of the tunnel is coming to an end.

It’s work that must be done before winter sets in because the concrete doesn’t work well with cold temperatures. Thermal blankets are actually placed on the tunnel each night to protect the concrete from the cold.

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New lighting is being installed as well. Colorado Department of Transportation studies showed this was a major pinch point for traffic because the old tunnel was too small and dark, forcing drivers to automatically slow down.

What’s making many drivers who come through this construction more comfortable is the stretch from hidden valley to the bottom of Floyd Hill.

The only other work being done outside the tunnel is finishing up the bridge that crosses over Clear Creek.

The project is still on schedule for a late December opening.

LINK: I-70 Twin Tunnels Project Website

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