IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Interstate 70 at Idaho Springs will not close Thursday night, as originally planned, because poor weather delayed the delivery of necessary equipment, officials said.
For now, Colorado Department of Transportation officials will close the interstate in both directions at exit 240 near Idaho Springs beginning Friday night.READ MORE: COVID Travel Restrictions Not Expected To Ease Up
“As part of the Peak Period Shoulder Lane Project, where we’re adding a toll lane on the shoulder of I-70 from Empire to Idaho Springs, part of that project is redoing the state highway 103 bridge,” CDOT spokeswoman Emily Wilfong said.
That portion of I-70 will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The work is expected to be completed by 6 a.m. on Monday.
Workers will be preparing the bridge for its final phases of construction but need to work across the highway, placing abutments and girders.
“It’s incredibly important for us to close this weekend. What we have right now is an opportunity, a window with weather where we can go in and do the work that we need to do and not worry about really cold temperatures or snow coming down,” Wilfong said.
With thousands of people visiting the ski resorts over the holiday weekend, there are anticipated delays with the weekend closure.READ MORE: CDOT Crews Travel To Assist Mudslide Maintenance
“This is definitely a high volume weekend for traffic. What we do is look at historic travel times, travel volumes and we know that if we close at 9 p.m. and reopen by 5 a.m. we’ll be minimally affecting traffic in that corridor,” Wilfong said.
I-70 will be open to hand the peak traffic which can be above 3,000 cars an hour, overnight that number drops down to about 500.
“The detour for this is very easy. It can do down to one lane and then drivers will use the on and off ramps to travel right around the closure,” Wilfong said.
The project was supposed to be completed around Thanksgiving but contaminated soil and weather slowed the progress.
While the delays and construction may put a damper on drivers’ moods, some businesses in Idaho Springs said it could be a boon for them.MORE NEWS: Arrest Warrants Issued For Aurora Police Officers John Haubert & Francine Martinez
“If people can get to Idaho Springs before they hit the traffic too bad, then they’ll get off and not want to wait in traffic and sit here and eat pizza, which is good for us,” an employee at Beau Jo’s Pizza in Idaho Springs said. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing for us. We kind of look forward to it. We’ll see what happens, usually it helps.”