I-70 weekend closures in northeast Denver will allow for paving

Interstate 70’s eastbound lanes will be closed through northeast Denver this weekend — the first of two single-direction closures that will allow for a paving blitz on a portion of the Central 70 project.

The Colorado Department of Transportation approved the pair of extra closures for the contracting team as they work to get the $1.3 billion project back on schedule for substantial completion by the end of 2022. New pavement will be laid on the middle section of the 10-mile project zone, between Colorado Boulevard and Quebec Street, as it nears completion.

The eastbound lanes will close between Brighton Boulevard and Interstate 270 from 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, while the westbound lanes remain open. Conversely, during the following weekend, from 10 p.m. July 23 to 5 a.m. July 26, only the westbound lanes will be closed in a shorter stretch between I-270 and Colorado Boulevard.

During each closure, the suggested detour for through traffic is to take Interstate 25 to Interstate 76 to I-270, or vice versa.

The closures will keep motorists from “driving on uneven lanes or temporary striping while we finish work in this section,” Central 70 project director Bob Hays said in a news release. “In addition, by conducting these full weekend closures we will be able to finish paving and other construction activities in this area several weeks early, providing relief to both motorists and businesses.

“Traffic will be in its final alignment by the end of July and crews will be finished with this section by fall 2021.”

Construction is already done in the project’s east section, from Quebec to Chambers Road in Aurora. But the west zone, between Brighton and Colorado, has considerable work remaining. Across all sections, the project is widening I-70 to add a tolled express lane in each direction, with a second toll lane possible in a future project.

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