DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation says they are about 75% finished with the Central 70 Project. However, a statewide oil shortage could pump the brakes on construction.

Right now, eastbound lanes on Interstate 70 between Brighton Boulevard and Interstate 270 are closed until Monday morning. The westbound lanes were supposed to close next weekend, but CDOT tells CBS4’s Justin Adams the oil shortage postponed those plans.

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(credit: CBS)

The timeline of the closure was set back about a week – now projected to be July 30 to Aug. 2.

“We do need some of that oil to make the asphalt. We, unfortunately, are being hit a little bit by that oil shortage, so we have to push closer a couple of weeks, until we can get some more so we can start to create the asphalt,” said Stacia Sellers, CDOT Central 70 Communications Manager.

The eastbound closure focuses on the central segment of the project which runs from Colorado Boulevard to Quebec Street.

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“That is because we are working to put traffic into its final alignment in that segment,” Sellers said.

The goal is to finish paving the roads and widen the driving lanes by the end of July or early August. Drivers will no longer travel over bumpy drainage covers and enjoy a smoother ride.

(credit: CBS)

“Traffic will most likely will be in its final alignment in the lowered section so switching traffic from its temporary configuration over into the eastbound bore of the tunnel once we build that out. And that should probably happen about summer or fall of next year,” Sellers said.

CDOT says the demolition of the viaduct is now more than 60% complete. Most of the rubble will be crushed in a pressure yard and reused on the future eastbound lanes of the interstate in the lower section. The remaining 25% will be used in other projects.

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“It’s a bit of a fun fact to know that yes we’re building out new lanes, but we are going to have a little bit of a historical aspect to it that you’ll be driving on some of the old lanes,” Sellers said.

Justin Adams