Clear Creek County residents are fed up with growing traffic congestion on I-70

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EVERGREEN, Colo. -- It's no secret that traffic continues to get worse on I-70 in the mountains west of Denver. Millions of cars go through the Eisenhower Tunnel over the summer months alone.

A lot of headlines focus on the drivers on the road. What about the mountain residents who deal with the congestion each and every day?

Gloria Newman reached out to Denver7 saying the traffic has made her a hostage in her own county.

"It's gotten really severe in the past couple of years," she said.

Newman said she has changed her lifestyle in order to not get stuck in gridlock.

"I can't even get to a doctor's appointment these days," she said.

She thinks Colorado is way behind the times when it comes to infrastructure improvements along the I-70 mountain corridor.

CDOT has done some work recently. The Veterans Memorial Tunnels were widened to help with congestion. CDOT also created the eastbound I-70 express lane from Empire through the Veterans Memorial Tunnels to Idaho Springs.

CDOT's Stacia Sellers said she is hearing the continued concerns from mountain residents.

"It’s something that we’re really looking at addressing," she said. "We’ve had several public meetings asking for community input. They are by no means on the back burner. They’re actually really on the forefront of the improvements we’re looking at."

CDOT also has plans to improve "community specific" frontage roads. The agency said it hopes to have an express lane up and running on westbound I-70 by next spring. Not only that, it's also trying to find funding for a $550 million tunnel project at the bottom of Floyd Hill.

Newman suggests the state shouldn't put all the focus on I-70.

"They need to be looking at other sources other than I-70," she said. "They need to be looking at other highways and other avenues."

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