DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado drivers should be aware of changes to the commute through the Central 70 Project. The Colorado Department of Transportation says several on- and off-ramps will be opened and closed between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards.

These changes are part of the Mile High Shift which began Friday night and continued all weekend long. Starting Monday morning, traffic will be shifted from the viaduct I-70 to newly constructed lanes 30 feet below the ground. According to CDOT, there will be three lanes in each direction.

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“It’s going to be a gradual decline into the new lanes of I-70, so it’s not going to be very dramatic, but obviously new aesthetics,” said Stacia Sellers, CDOT spokeswoman.

(credit: CBS)

CDOT provided a list of ramp changes to anticipate starting Monday morning:

Westbound Interstate 70

  • Westbound I-70 off-ramp to Colorado Boulevard – open
  • Colorado Boulevard on-ramp to westbound I-70 – open
  • Steele/Vasquez on-ramp to westbound I-70 – open
  • Westbound I-70 off-ramp to Brighton Boulevard – open
  • Brighton Boulevard on-ramp to westbound I-70 – open

Eastbound I-70

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  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Brighton Boulevard – open
  • Brighton Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound I-70 – open
  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to York Street – closed permanently – access via Brighton Boulevard to York Street
  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Steele/Vasquez – closed through January 2022 – access via Colorado Boulevard to 46th Avenue
  • Steele/Vasquez on-ramp to eastbound I-70 – closed permanently – access I-70 via Colorado Boulevard
  • Eastbound I-70 off-ramp to Colorado Boulevard – open
  • Colorado Boulevard on-ramp to eastbound I-70 – open

The York Street on-ramp to westbound I-70 and the westbound I-70 off-ramp to Steele/Vasquez were closed permanently.

(credit: CBS)

Crews started demolishing the I-70 viaduct on Saturday. Drivers will no longer use those lanes of the interstate.

“We just need to get traffic into this configuration so that we can start to demolish the I-70 viaduct, which should take place for the next 4-5 months,” said Sellers. “Then we’ll start to excavate and build out for the future eastbound lanes.”

CDOT hopes drivers remember “Stop, Drop and Flow” when traveling through this part of the project.

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  • Stop: The closures of the Colorado Boulevard on-ramp to westbound I-70, both directions of I-70 between Washington Street and I-270, Brighton Boulevard under I-70 and the I-70 eastbound Steele/Vasquez off-ramp are required to prepare for the new traffic configuration in the lowered section.
  • Drop: The Mile High Shift will include a gradual decline into the lowered section from Brighton Boulevard to approximately Purina.
  • Flow: All six lanes of eastbound and westbound I-70 traffic will flow in the lowered section after the Mile High Shift. Motorists should be prepared for the potential of slower traffic when entering the lowered section initially due to the drastic change; however, the lowered section and tunnel between Columbine and Clayton streets is intentionally designed to allow for the normal flow of traffic.

“We know there’s a lot of really great things to look at as part of this project, but we need drivers to keep their eyes on the roadways so we can keep traffic flowing and reduce any chances of crashes,” Sellers said.

Danielle Chavira