All four lanes in canyon set to open next week | PostIndependent.com
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All four lanes in canyon set to open next week

by donna gray

Repairs to Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon where a mammoth rockslide tore through the highway on Thanksgiving are ahead of schedule.Van-sized rocks fell about a thousand feet down the canyon walls at around 7:30 a.m. Nov. 25, just west of the Hanging Lake tunnels. The canyon was closed for 30 hours forcing holiday travelers into a 220-mile detour.Colorado Department of Transportation spokewoman Nancy Shanks said all four lanes are set to open on Thursday, Jan. 27, weather permitting.”Currently, two lanes of traffic, one in each direction, are running on the eastbound side and through the eastbound bore of Hanging Lake tunnel,” Shanks said.Officials will switch one lane of westbound traffic at 7 a.m. Friday back to the westbound side of the interstate and through the westbound bore of the tunnel.Oversized vehicle restrictions will remain in place until the four lanes are reopened, Shanks said. Vehicles more than 8 and a half feet wide and more than 100 feet long must pull over to a staging area on either side of the construction and be escorted through the work site.”The speed limit will still be reduced to 30 mph as work off road will continue,” Shanks said.Though published reports have varied, the cost of the repair is estimated to be about $1.2 million, according to state officials. Kiewit Western Co. of Littleton is the contractor, coming in at the lowest bidder; at $681,775.According to its contract with CDOT, Kiewit has until the end of this month to complete the project. The company can earn a $5,000 daily incentive to finish the work ahead of schedule. It also faces a $5,000 daily fine if it goes over schedule. Work has focused on repairs to eight panels of bridge deck on the eastbound lanes and road damage on the westbound lanes. Repairs will also include replacing hundreds of feet of concrete barrier and guardrail.Perhaps the most significant damage to the highway was destruction of 50 feet of retaining wall on the westbound side of the highway. Kiewit will replace those 23-foot-high wall panels.One reason the overall cost of the project is higher than Kiewit’s bid is because CDOT spent about $500,000 for pre-construction costs such as determining the scope of work of the project before it was let for bid. The state also paid for initial work on the highway the day of the rockfall and in the days following, including bringing down loose rock threatening the highway, removing debris from the lanes and traffic control.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510dgray@postindependent.com


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