The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Parsons Corporation announced a proposed series of improvements last week designed to relieve worsening congestion along I-70, the state’s most prominent east-west route.
Parsons came to the department with the full three-phase project, the centerpieces of which would be tolled express lanes and a bus rapid transit (BRT) system. Under the current plan, the express lanes would be reversible to accommodate shifting traffic flows.
Other portions of the plan include straightening of several curves in the highway and resurfacing of all existing lanes. The Eisenhower Tunnel and others along the route would receive tunnel bores, and segments of the new lanes would be suspended, similar to the portion currently running through Glenwood Canyon.
CDOT had already planned to install a tolled, reversible, hard-shoulder lane along I-70 near Idaho Springs, beginning summer 2014.
The two parties hope that all of the work would be completed by 2021 at a total cost of $3.5 billion. At that point, the groundwork would be laid for an advanced guideway system (AGS), a form of high-speed rail; officials are targeting a completion date of 2025.