by Denver Post

“The only problem is the Colorado Department of Transportation doesn’t have the money to start construction.”

Westbound express toll lane also part of proposal

Colorado transportation officials on Tuesday released plans costing up to $550 million to improve the westbound Interstate 70 bottleneck at Floyd Hill by adding an additional lane and even building a tunnel to keep cars moving.

The only problem is the Colorado Department of Transportation doesn’t have the money to start construction.

The proposal, though, gives CDOT a jumping off point to address the growing congestion problems along the I-70 mountain corridor from Denver to ski country.

CDOT says it has been working with local elected officials and stakeholders to develop the concept unveiled this week, which they say would accommodate more westbound travelers.

State and federal highway officials have been working with a team of stakeholders, including representatives from Idaho Springs, Clear Creek County, Jefferson County, ski resorts and the general public, since signing a “2011 Record of Decision” about the I-70 mountain corridor and the Floyd Hill study area, said Stacia Sellers, CDOT communications manager.

The plan calls for I-70 to be reconfigured with simplified curves, bridges and walls to improve line of sight and driver safety. That would come in the form of a tunnel at the bottom of the interstate near Idaho Springs and a widening of the westbound lanes from two to three.

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