This week, Interstate 70 traffic will return to its normal alignment in both directions between the Vail Town Center and West Vail interchanges, signifying an on-time completion of the underpass bridges and the start of major Frontage Road construction. This work is all part of the Colorado Department of Transportation and Town of Vail’s I-70 Vail Underpass project which aims to decrease interchange congestion and increase community mobility by providing another connection between the North and South Frontage roads in Vail.
There will be no construction activities over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Beginning Tuesday, July 5, each of the Frontage Roads will be restricted to one-way travel for the short distance through the project site. These restrictions will be in place through November. Frontage Road traffic flow will mirror that of I-70 with the North Frontage Road serving westbound drivers only from Lion's Ridge Loop to Timber Ridge and the South Frontage Road serving eastbound drivers only from Cascade Resort to Cascade Crossing. Outside the project work zone, the Frontage Roads will accommodate two-way travel between the West Vail and Vail Town Center interchanges.
Frontage Road drivers who are traveling in the opposite direction of these one-way sections will be able to turn around or use alternate routes along I-70 or the opposite Frontage Road to reach their destination. The turnaround point for eastbound drivers using the North Frontage Road will be located at the Timber Ridge Village bus stop while westbound drivers using the South Frontage Road traffic are advised to use West Lionshead Circle to loop back to I-70 or the North Frontage Road.
All Frontage Road businesses, properties and residences will remain accessible during this phase of the project, but access points will vary in some instances.
In the interest of public safety, pedestrians and bicyclists will be restricted from using these one-way sections. North Frontage Road pedestrians and bicyclists will be detoured onto the North Recreation Path while those using South Frontage Road will be directed to use the Gore Valley Trail.
Due to the construction, the West Vail Green line will be suspended while the West Vail Red line will increase frequency to every 20 minutes from the Vail Transit Center west on the North Frontage Road to the South Frontage Road. There are no impacts to other transit providers, including ECO, Bustang and Greyhound.
“An on-time completion of the two underpass bridges in only three months is an impressive feat and testament to the great coordination effort between construction crews, CDOT and the Town of Vail,” said Matt Figgs, CDOT Project Engineer. “While we’re please with what we’ve accomplished, the work along the North and South Frontage Roads is even more extensive and will require ongoing patience from the traveling public.”
Frontage Road work includes excavating and lowering both Frontage Roads 12 to 15 feet, relocating multiple utility lines in the area, installing new waterline and storm sewer facilities, and building numerous retaining walls.
Work hours during this second project phase are anticipated to be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., however, the Frontage Road one-way detours will remain in place 24/7 throughout this phase of construction. Since much of the work is weather-dependent, it may be necessary for crews to do additional nighttime and/or weekend work to stay on schedule. Drivers can expect delays during construction hours.
In November, the Frontage Roads will return to normal two-way traffic to accommodate the winter tourism season. These one-way traffic configurations on the Frontage Roads will again be implemented in April 2017 while construction work is finished next year. The project is scheduled to be complete in November 2017.
For updated project information, visit www.codot.gov/projects/i70vailunderpass, or call 970-685-7706.
To receive project updates via text or email, visit codot.gov and click on the green envelope icon at the bottom of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available at cotrip.org, downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at facebook.com/coloradodot.
The I-70 Vail Underpass project will add an additional underpass near I-70 mile point 175, connecting the North and South Frontage Roads between the Vail Town Center and West Vail interchanges. The project does not construct additional I-70 exits/interchanges into the Town of Vail. The project is scheduled for completion by December 2017.