Public feedback sought for I-70 shoulder lane of high-traffic days | SkyHiNews.com

Public feedback sought for I-70 shoulder lane of high-traffic days

Reid Tulley
rtulley@skyhidailynews.com

Colorado Department of Transportation announced plans to build a Peak Period Shoulder Lane to help alleviate weekend and holiday congestion on eastbound I-70 between US 40/Empire Junction and the Twin Tunnels in Idaho Springs.

The Peak Period Shoulder Lane will add an extra lane to I-70 that will be available for use to drivers when traffic gets congested and will charge a toll to drivers who want to utilize the lane.

The project is meant to address the congestion problems that motorists incur while driving to Denver during peak travel times, such as Sunday on a busy ski weekend. CDOT reports that drivers currently can incur a 2.5 hour delay on the eight mile stretch of I-70 when congestion is bad on the road.

The extra lane will open when congestion gets bad and will close and revert back to a large shoulder when congestion breaks up.

New signage will alert drivers to when the extra lane is open and available for use.

The project is meant to capitalize on the recent completion of the construction of a third lane through the east-bound Twin Tunnel.

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The project is currently in the environmental analysis and design phase, though CDOT has said they hope to begin construction of the extra lane by the summer of 2014 and have the construction completed by the summer of 2015.

CDOT has formed multiple teams of community representatives, special interest groups and local, state and federal agency representatives to provide input on the project.

"We are aware of the congestion issues our drivers are currently facing, and we are committed to improving the safety of our roadways. The Peak Period Shoulder Lane provides an efficient, temporary solution to improve the flow of traffic without changing the nature of the corridor," said Tony DeVito, Region 1 Director for CDOT.

A self-guided online meeting to educate the public on the project will be available until Feb. 14. The online meeting is composed of short videos and discussions that are meant to inform the public on some of the preliminary details surrounding the project.

The online meeting, which takes about 10 minutes to complete, includes videos and animations describing the current traffic conditions as well as how the Peak Period Shoulder Lane will ultimately benefit travelers. Commuters are encouraged to comment on environmental impacts and mitigation solutions for this proposed project, currently in the environmental analysis and design phase.

Visit the site at http://www.I70ppsl-cdot.com

For more information, or to receive hardcopy information about the project, contact CDOT Project Manager Andria Schmid at 720-497-6921.

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