CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. - A major traffic shift is underway at the Twin Tunnels on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs.
Tuesday, crews will detour eastbound I-70 traffic around the tunnels.
"The detour road that eastbound traffic will take around the mountain is the same one that side of Interstate 70 used while the eastbound tunnel was widened last year," said 7NEWS traffic reporter Jayson Luber.
Wednesday, crews will detour westbound I-70 traffic to the eastbound bore, so crews can begin work to expand the westbound bore.
"Once both directions of I-70 are shifted and traffic is no longer moving through the westbound tunnel bore, crews can begin tunnel blasting and rock face blasting work," the Colorado Department of Transportation said in a news release.
CDOT officials said the blasting schedule for the Westbound Twin Tunnels project will be "aggressive and may cause heavy delays."
CDOT said on blasting days, traffic will be stopped in both directions for approximately 30 minutes, released for approximately 45 minutes, then the cycle will restart.
Learn more about blasting, lane closures, and more: http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/i70twintunnels
The Westbound I-70 Twin Tunnels project is a $55 million project to widen the westbound tunnel bore in Idaho Springs. However, while the tunnel will accommodate a future third westbound lane, CDOT will will not add a third highway lane at this time.
"With resources still in place from the 2013 project that widened the eastbound tunnel, it is estimated that doing this work now will save $5 million to $7 million," CDOT said.
"The Colorado Department of Transportation says the widening work is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year," Luber explained.