Construction starts on I-76, interchanges
By Katie Collins Brush News-Tribune
Posted: 03/15/2013 11:22:27 AM MDT
Having a modern, up-to-date transportation system makes Colorado's economy stronger by putting people to work and attracting businesses and employers to the state.
According to Colorado Department of Transportation (C-DOT) officials, approximately 52 percent of the state highway infrastructure is in poor condition with roads degraded so badly that major reconstruction is necessary. Having a modern and efficient transportation system will help support economic growth in the area, and for the people of Morgan County the effects of the latest C-DOT project has already hit home.
The project will have crews reconstructing both directions of Interstate 76 from mile marker 84.9 to MM 91.1, essentially covering the stretch of interstate from Fort Morgan to Brush. Crews will build or replace 13 bridges and one box culvert, and the work will reconfigure interchanges at State Highway 71 and Dodd Bridge Road to standard diamond interchanges.
"This area of Colorado is growing very quickly, and the project will help improve the existing infrastructure, which is currently in poor condition," said Project Manager Gale Siedenburg. "By helping to modernize the transportation system, we hope to help support economic growth in the area and give motorists a safer drive."
Signs along I-76 near Dodd Bridge Road, which were put up last week, alert commuters to the construction that began today with a detour that will put traffic in a head-to-head configuration starting April 1.
That configuration is expected to last through October, with minor work scheduled through the 2013 winter. Detours are scheduled to pick back up and resume April 1, 2014 through Oct. 31, 2014. The project is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2014.
Also, all on and off-ramps are to be lengthened for a safer transition onto and off of the interstate. The existing six miles of interstate roadway, shoulders and ramps will be repaved with concrete.
Also on the schedule are improvements for long term drainage along the interstate in Brush.
During late March, the Dodd Bridge Road westbound ramps will be closed for about a week to facilitate the construction of new ramps. After the Dodd Bridge ramps are reopened, the Hospital Road westbound ramps will be closed for the same duration.
Beginning April 8, the westbound lanes on I-76 will be closed until Oct. 31, and traffic will be moved to the eastbound lanes with one lane in each direction. Temporary ramps will be placed in the median for traffic heading north at Dodd Bridge Road, Hospital Road and Colorado (SH 71).
Speeds will be reduced to 55 miles per hour in construction zones.
CDOT advertised this project in late December 2012, opened bids on Jan. 24 and identified the apparent low bidder as the Castle Rock Construction Company. The project has contracted a cost of $37.6 million to Castle Rock Construction.