CDOT unveiled their intention to move forward with a newly proposed plan to help relieve congestion of weekend traffic around the I-70 corridor. The plan includes installation of a vehicular conveyor in the right lane on eastbound I-70 in the final four-mile approach to the tunnel.
This stretch of highway is notorious for major backups due to ill-equipped motorists attempting to return to Colorado’s Front Range. By fitting the right lane with an automated surface lift, CDOT believes they have found a cost-effective solution to continue moving vehicles that would otherwise be stuck during inclement weather due to poor tire tread or lack of sufficient fuel levels.
The project will cost taxpayers an estimated $38M, which is cheap compared to the approximately $2B for a high-speed rail line. The center and left lanes will remain in their current condition to allow properly equipped vehicles to maintain their route.
Drivers and passengers alike can kick back and enjoy a three-mph ride up the Continental Divide, approximately the same rate all three lanes of traffic move during the problematic afternoons. The lift system will end at the entrance to the tunnel where drivers can then restart their vehicles and continue a downhill drive. Here they are less likely to lose traction, get stuck and block the highway for others on their way back to Denver.
CDOT engineers have been working closely with Vail Resorts who have already implemented similar technology. Vail Resorts has had success with surface-mounted conveyor belts at Avanti and Mountain Top Express lifts at Vail, as well as the Colorado Superchair at Breckenridge to maintain a steady flow of skiers and riders as they approach the oftentimes difficult to load chairlifts.
EpicPix photographers will also be stationed along side the highway to capture the excitement. This is great news for anyone looking to return home with a dope action shot of them getting down behind the wheel to their favorite dubstep banger with a snow-covered, mountain backdrop.