IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– The golden shovels broke ground on the Interstate 70 westbound Mountain Express Lane project on Thursday. The westbound lane is something many people in Colorado are anticipating, those who live in the mountain towns along the I-70 corridor and those who travel the interstate.

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Patti Tyler showed up for the groundbreaking and says while she appreciates the efforts, this is really just a bandage for a problem she considers much bigger.

“On weekends we tend not to go anywhere because we don’t want to get stuck in the traffic,” the Clear Creek county resident told CBS4’s Matt Kroschel.

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Tyler says while the eastbound Mountain Express Lane has helped some, she expects about the same with the new westbound lane. What she really wants to see is a real solution like a high speed train.

Gov. Jared Polis seemed to agree this is only a temporary solution to the mountain corridor challenges.

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“It’s only going to get worse with more and more people even though it might help it’s not going to solve it long-term,” Tyler added.

The Mountain Express Lane Project widens a 12-mile segment of westbound I-70 from the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Empire Junction, or U.S. 40.

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The project is scheduled to officially begin on Monday and expected to be complete in late 2020. That includes toll system testing continuing through spring 2021, prior to the opening of the express lane.

The contractor for the $70 million project is Graham Construction of Denver.


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