CDOT looking to see if changes need to be made after deadly crash on I-70

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The Colorado Department of Transportation is looking to improve a stretch of Interstate 70 near Golden after a wrong-way crash in killed two people on Sunday.

CDOT last did a study on that part of the highway near the Morrison exit in 2006. At the time, officials didn't see the need for any changes.

In the past 20 years, there have been three wrong-way crashes within a mile radius of the area.

There is a grassy median along the interstate to protect drivers from wrong-way crashes.

“We call this a clear zone because it’s one of the better medians,” CDOT spokeswoman Stacia Sellers said.

Days after the deadly crash, CDOT is going back to the drawing board. It wants to see if the median did its job.

“It allows motorists, if they’re starting to travel into the median, they can correct themselves because it is so large,” Sellers said.

In theory, the 75- to 90-foot space is supposed to stop crashes such as Sunday's from happening. The current median meets all federal requirements.

“It’s what we call an 80-20, so 80 percent of the time motorists can stop themselves before going into oncoming traffic," Sellers said.

CDOT is doing a formalized crash report. If engineers see fit, a guardrail could be installed. CDOT will only make changes if they're absolutely necessary.

“In locations where a guardrail isn’t warranted, you’re looking at an extreme safety hazard," Sellars said. “If you have it go into a location it’s really not supposed to be you could have a car crash into it and then bounce back into traffic.”

The study takes a couple of weeks to a month to complete.