Eagle County – The Colorado Department of Transportation and contract partner CC Enterprises of Grand Junction will soon begin a wildlife fencing project along the Interstate 70 corridor near Vail. The project is scheduled to start on August 3. The project team will stay in close contact with CDOT maintenance crews in the event I-70 is closed at Glenwood Canyon.
Work will occur along both sides of the I-70 corridor for approximately 12 miles from Mile 170.5, through the Minturn Interchange, to MP 181.8, east of Vail. Crews will remove approximately 1.5 miles of unstable fencing, repair a broken fence, install over five miles of deer fencing and install nine game ramps for wildlife. The new fence will be connected to the existing deer fence. Old fences crossing Gore Creek will be removed and relocated.
Wildlife fencing directs animals away from the road and into game ramps, providing safe passage for wildlife under the road. These structures are located on I-70 at MP 171.75 and MP 180.2. When the animals use the play ramps, it eliminates the possibility of the animals being hit by a vehicle. “Reducing vehicle collisions with wildlife in this region is a priority,” says Region 3 Transportation Manager Jason Smith. “Reducing vehicle collisions helps keep motorists and wildlife safe.” This project is a big step forward in this direction for this region.
The new game ramps will also allow animals that have managed to gain access to the highway to safely cross wildlife fences and away from the roadway.
Motorists should plan for eastbound and westbound single lane closures, shoulder closures, and signal operations on the frontage road and cycle path. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Work will continue in 2022 until a winter shutdown from November 2022 to April 2023. Work will resume in 2023, with the project expected to be completed by the end of August 2023.
For more information on this project:
Know before you go
Travelers are urged to “inquire before you go”. Gather information on weather forecasts and anticipated impacts on travel and current road conditions before hitting the road. CDOT resources include:
Remember: slow for the cone area
The following tips are intended to help you stay safe when traveling through maintenance and construction work areas.
- Do not accelerate in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
- Stay alert! Expect the unexpected.
- Watch the workers. Drive with caution.
- Do not change lanes unnecessarily.
- Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving through work areas.
- Turn on the headlights so workers and other drivers can see you.
- Be especially vigilant at night when driving through work areas.
- Expect delays, especially during peak hours.
- Leave enough space between you and the car in front of you.
- Anticipate lane changes and merge when prompted.
- Be patient!
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