CDOT invests in I-70 at Vail Pass, improving both safety and driving experience

Jan 24, 2022 -- Posted by : goi70

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is making incremental investments in the I-70 mountain corridor  through three projects located at Vail Pass to not only improve safety, but also the overall driving experience. 

In December 2021, CDOT completed an $11 million roadway resurfacing project between the Town of Vail and the Vail Pass summit located at Mile Points (MP) 176-191, that included an asphalt overlay, maintenance repairs to several bridges and installation of taller guardrails to meet new safety standard requirements. Kiewit_VailPass_TruckRamp_Celebration.jpg

Additionally, Gov. Jared Polis and CDOT gathered in early December to mark the opening of an emergency truck ramp along I-70 at the bottom of Vail Pass (MP 182). This new emergency truck ramp provides truck drivers with a straighter path off the highway to reduce the likelihood of trucks tipping over during an emergency exit. The ramp also features a settlement basin beneath it so should there a hazardous spill during an exit, it can be contained on site and cleaned up with no impact to Gore Creek.

The truck ramp is the first of several safety improvements being made as part of the $164.2 million I-70 West Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes project. The project will reconstruct aging bridges, straighten out tight curves, widen shoulders to accommodate emergency Vail Pass Aux Lane Graphic.pngservice access and add an auxiliary lane in both directions between the East Vail exit to the Vail Pass Summit. An auxiliary lane runs between on- and off-ramps allowing drivers more room to safely enter or exit I-70 while reducing ramp congestion. Work on the remaining project elements will resume in spring 2022 when weather conditions are more conducive to construction, with major construction being completed in 2025. 

“This project reduces closures of Vail Pass and therefore reduces traffic and trip times to the high country. This improvement represents the start of better things to come for the Coloradans and businesses that rely on Vail Pass. The safety improvements this project brings and the improved access for emergency service vehicles will reduce the number of closures on Vail Pass, saving Coloradans time and money and supporting our local economy,” said Gov. Polis.

The Vail Pass Rest Area Replacement Project (MP190) is another investment in the I-70 mountain corridor. An assessment done in January 2019 noted that the rest area needed to be replaced because of inadequate potable water supply, insufficient parking, the wastewater treatment facility unable to meet demand, needing separate truck and passenger car parking and ADA deficiencies. Construction on the $11.5 million project is anticipated to begin in spring 2022. CDOT is gathering feedback on the project through Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022. Learn more here

The investments through these three projects will significantly improve motorist safety and driving experience on I-70 at Vail Pass for now and the future. 



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