Clear Creek County, Colorado –
The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has selected Ulteig as a design engineering consultant on the renovation of a 6.2-mile stretch of westbound Interstate 70 (I-70). The project consists of two parts – an environmental analysis per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and creating the design of an auxiliary lane along the 6.2-mile corridor.
Ulteig’s primary role on the project is to lead a consultant team through NEPA and design of the I-70 Auxiliary Lane as a partner to CDOT. Subconsultant, Peak Consulting, will engage stakeholders and various interested groups along the project corridor and integrate their input into the project throughout the NEPA process. Ulteig staff will provide engineering expertise that will feed into the NEPA analysis and will complete the design to prepare the project for construction. Project stakeholders include Clear Creek County, the United States Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Loveland Ski Area and more.
The main goal of the planning and design effort is to reduce congestion along this 6.2-mile stretch of I-70. Ulteig will assist in accomplishing this goal by:
- implementing one continuous westbound climbing/auxiliary lane for trucks and;
- implementing safety improvements
Ulteig and CDOT plan on working closely with the Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA) to optimize the benefits that heavy-duty vehicles reap from this project’s completion.
By improving mobility, this project will:
- Allow large, slower moving, heavy-duty trucks (18-wheelers) and other vehicles to move to the auxiliary lane, enhancing safety for drivers by decreasing the potential for rear-end accidents
- Improve emergency response time
- Allow for seamless vehicular mobility along the corridor
- Bolster access to recreation in the region’s mountain range
- Enhance chain-up stations
- Improve wildlife movement
- Improve interchange access
Though adding in a third lane westbound may sound simple on the surface, this project has more complexity than meets the eye. Environmental constraints, maintaining a consistent traffic flow throughout construction and operating on a unique traffic pattern due to tourism in the area will all pose challenges for the engineering team.
To preserve the region’s natural beauty, the protection of wildlife will be evaluated. Mitigation measures will be considered in separating wildlife from interstate traffic, for the protection of both the public and the animals that live in the corridor. These changes, and more, will ensure the preservation of wildlife at the site.
While others might shy away from the challenges presented, the team at Ulteig is riveted to begin another thrilling project on Colorado’s beautiful I-70.
Read the full blog about our Collaboration in Colorado and the Bakerville project HERE.