Weekend I-70 closure expected to cause 30-60 minute delays

Data pix.

DENVER --  A busy stretch of I-70 will be shut down all weekend, starting Friday at 10 p.m.

It’s part of CDOT’s Central Widening project, which broke ground a little over a year ago.

The closure is between I-270 and Steele/Vasquez—which will mean a change of plans for a lot of Colorado drivers.

“I’m going to Loveland tomorrow to see my girlfriend.  I’ll just go out Colorado Boulevard to 270—and I may not do that.  I may go through town, because 270 will be really busy all weekend,” said Jim Olsen, while riding his bike near I-270.

The closure will last until 5 a.m. on Monday.

During that time, CDOT crews will demolish the old Flyover at I-270 and also set girders for a new bridge to replace the one at Colorado Boulevard, that goes over I-70.

"You’re swinging girders that weigh about 40-50 tons a piece, out near adjacent to traffic.  So we want to get that traffic out, get those girders set, get everything ready,” said Keith Stefanik, CDOT Central 70 Project director .

This is the second of four full-lane closures planned on I-70, through 2021—meaning drivers will need to find alternate routes all weekend.

For more information on detours around I-70, click here.

“I’m going to have to add another half hour each way is what I’m thinking.  I’m joining my brother for his birthday,” said Tim Day, a Park Hill resident who has plans to drive to Mount Evans this weekend.

Drive times could be even longer, according to CDOT.

“I would say it’s in the 30 or 60 minute range,” said Stefanik.  “It’s definitely going to impact traffic tremendously.”

Day called the closure a “short-term pain, long-term gain,” but also said it will be worth the extra drive time.

“It’s a huge project that eventually will matter.  I think it’s a reasonable thing to do, we need it in the infrastructure for our city,” he said.

CDOT says the full closures will keep the project’s timeline on track, which is set to finish in 2022.

“If we were to phase this work over multiple days, multiple weekends, the construction duration would go up.  So  having this limited full closures help us really accelerate construction,” said Stefanik.

-- Laura Wilson wrote this report. 

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