CDOT contractor to begin resurfacing, safety upgrades on west side of Vail Pass

By Real Vail
May 21, 2011

American Civil Constructors, Inc. (ACC), contractor for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), will begin safety improvements and some much-needed pavement repairs and resurfacing on the west side of Vail Pass on June 6. The project work zone lies within a 20-mile section between mile points 170 (Minturn Exit) and 190 (Vail Pass summit). Resurfacing will take place on west Vail Pass only, between MP 180 and 190.

Drivers are more anxious than ever for permanent pavement repairs, following an uncommonly wet spring that has kept CDOT maintenance crews providing temporary fixes (by way of cold asphalt patching) as dry weather has allowed. The project, contracted to ACC for $9.5 million, is receiving $2.8 million for safety improvement features (guardrail and barrier) from Colorado FASTER*.

The West Vail Pass project was designed to repair and resurface deteriorating pavement, fix bridge joints, replace barrier and guardrail, make drainage improvements and install Intelligent Transportation Systems, including electronic variable message signs and traffic sensors. The work scheduled for completion by the end of September 2011.

Specifically, the project involves the following:

* June 6 through mid-August, paving & concrete barrier work: The work will mill and resurface the roadway between MP 180 and 190, both directions (the eastbound lanes will be completed first); driving surfaces will be rough during the milling phase; some sections of concrete barrier will be removed and replaced in this same work zone;

* June 6 through late September, bridge joints: Crews will repair bridge joints on one structure near MP 179 (East Vail) and on eight structures between MP 180 and 190 (West Vail Pass);

*June 6 through late September, guardrail, drainage improvements: Crews will replace some 500 feet of guardrail, primarily west of MP 180; drainage improvements at five locations through entire 20-mile zone;

* September (estimate), new sign, sensors, camera: For westbound lanes, at MP 187 (three miles west of the summit) crews will install a new electronic Variable Message Sign (VMS). This sign will allow CDOT to better communicate safety messages to westbound travelers approaching the curves on west side stretch known as “the narrows.” The Intelligent Transportation System improvements will also include a trip travel indicator (providing another source of communication for trip times between Vail and Denver) and a traffic camera near the summit to show Vail Pass road and weather conditions.

GENERAL TRAFFIC IMPACTS: Crews anticipate being in the roadway Monday through Thursday from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. During work hours, motorists can expect intermittent single-lane closures, likely in both directions depending upon work items. There will be NO IMPACTS TO TRAFFIC after noon on Fridays; and at this time, there is no night or weekend work anticipated. Full traffic stops may occur, at times, but are not anticipated until September. These stops will be necessary for VMS placement over the westbound lanes, and will occur during low traffic periods. Initially, a section of the bike path near the summit will be rerouted during drainage work in that area – riders will be shifted onto a temporary alignment along the I-70 shoulder, with barriers.

For travel information, contact the project information office at 970-566-6912 or sign up for regular updates at GET WIRELESS NOTIFICATIONS: If you would like to receive e-mail and/or wireless notifications for this (and other) CDOT projects, please go to CDOT's web site at and select the green phone icon in the upper right corner (sign up for the “I-70 West, Denver to Glenwood Springs” list to receive messages on the Vail Pass Project). You may also contact ACC's public relations officer, Jody Randall, directly at 720-244-7312. Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!

*FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Treatment and Economic Recovery) was established by the Colorado General assembly via Senate Bill 09-108 ( to fund the repair of Colorado's structurally deficient bridges and make safety improvements to Colorado's key corridors.

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