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CDOT has new plan to smooth I-70 traffic

Associated Press Published: November 23, 2012

VAIL, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Department of Transportation has a new plan to smooth traffic on Interstate 70, where the Eisenhower Tunnel often clogs on ski weekends.

The Vail Daily reported Friday that CDOT has will try a different tactic to smooth eastbound traffic on I-70 between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower/Johnson Tunnels ( ). That's where traffic clogs worst on Sunday afternoon and evenings ad skiers head back to Denver and the airport.

Near the tunnel, eastbound traffic is funneled from three lanes to just two. At about that spot, the transportation department is working on a system that on heavy-traffic days will move traffic into four lanes. Those lanes will use the highway's existing shoulders, so no widening work will be needed.

CDOT spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said the new system could replace "metering" at the tunnels. That system stopped traffic on the west side of the tunnels but led to long delays.

"For every minute you delay traffic, it can take between four and eight minutes to get it moving again," Stegman said. "That means a 20-minute delay can turn into 90 minutes."

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