New traffic changes begin next week as the Colorado Department of Transportation kicks off its Mile High Shift project, which will move both directions of Interstate 70 between Brighton Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard off of the viaduct and lower it under a cover park.
This traffic change, called the Mile High Shift project, will allow crews to demolish the structurally deficient viaduct, which was built 57 years ago. All current lanes of I-70 will move to the future westbound lanes of the lowered section as early as late this month. Both directions of traffic will stay in the westbound lanes for about 18 months, when the eastbound lanes of I-70 are expected to be completed, CDOT said.
The new lowered section of I-70 is wide enough to accommodate all six lanes of traffic because CDOT said it is expanding the highway's width to fit one additional lane in each direction, plus wide shoulders.
The westbound Colorado Boulevard on-ramp will close from 8 p.m. on May 18 through May 24 at 5 a.m. in preparation to shift traffic to the new lowered section of I-70.
Know Before You Go! The WB Colorado on-ramp will be CLOSED 8 p.m., Tuesday, May 18 thru 5 a.m., Monday, May 24 in preparation to shift traffic into the new lowered section of I-70. Upon reopening, the ramp will no longer be a loop ramp to access westbound I-70. #central70project pic.twitter.com/UbqQoWXKzC— Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) (@ColoradoDOT) May 10, 2021
In addition, I-70 will close between Washington Street and I-270 from 10 p.m. May 21 to 5 a.m. on May 24 for the shift.
Know Before You Go! I-70 will close between Washington Street and I-270 from 10 p.m., Friday, May 21 to 5 a.m., Monday, May 24 to shift I-70 traffic into the new lowered section. See the detour map below and drive safely! #central70project pic.twitter.com/m5DfICkQNT— Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) (@ColoradoDOT) May 11, 2021
In total, the project will drop the interstate about 30 feet below ground — an almost 60-foot difference from its current position on the viaduct.
Motorists on I-70 eastbound can expect a gradual decline into the lowered section at Brighton Boulevard to the area of the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Then, the interstate will level out and gradually incline back to its current elevation by Colorado Boulevard. The speed limit will remain 55 mph in this area.
Motorists in both directions will travel underneath a future 4-acre cover park, including two soccer fields, an amphitheater, splash pad and playground. The park stretches between Columbine and Clayton streets. Click here to learn more about the cover park.
Lights will illuminate the interstate underneath the cover.
In 2017, CDOT released a animated video of the finished project. You can watch it below.
To learn more about the Mile High Shift and viaduct demolition, join the telephone town hall scheduled for Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Call toll-free 1-855-710-6230.