do you build improvements to I-70 while keeping people moving?
was a critically important question during the First Tier Study,
and had a large impact on selection of the widening and reconstruction
The strategy allows construction of I-70 improvements
to be staged in a way that keeps four lanes of traffic open –
as there are today. This has a tremendous benefit for the traveling
public, and reduces user costs during what is sure to be a long
and difficult construction process.
The construction staging plan for rural areas
of the corridor is shown in the video clip on this page, and involves
the following steps:
||New interchanges, overpasses and outer roads are
||The first set of three new lanes is constructed outside the
current footprint for the highway.
||Traffic moves to use the new lanes and two old lanes –
while the second set of three new lanes is constructed.
||Traffic moves to use both sets of new lanes and remaining
old pavement is removed.
The commitment to maintain four lanes of traffic
during construction has other benefits. It is the reason that a
rebuilt I-70 will have an extra wide median. That greatly expanded
space has significant safety benefits for users and reserves space
for future needs.
In the urban areas of the corridor, where a concrete
median barrier will be utilized to separate the opposing lanes
of a wide median, maintenance of traffic during construction will
be measurably more difficult. Since construction independent of
the existing road will not be possible, complicated staged construction
will be need to be developed during this phase of study.
Likewise, interchange areas will require special
consideration. Crossroad and turning traffic will likely use detours,
temporary ramp connections to I-70 and the outer roads during construction.
Environmentally sensitive areas of the corridor,
such as Mineola Hill, also will require special attention.