State OKs $60M to widen tunnel, I-70 in mountains

(AP) — State officials have approved a $60 million project to widen an eastbound tunnel on Interstate 70 and add a third eastbound lane over a 2½-mile stretch of the mountain freeway.

The Summit Daily News reports the Colorado Transportation Commission approved the funding Thursday.

The aim is to ease a bottleneck that slows travelers returning to Front Range cities from the mountains.

The new lane would run from the east side of Idaho Springs through the eastbound bore of the Twin Tunnels and join an existing three-lane section at the base of Floyd Hill.

Tony DeVito (dah-VEE'-toh) of the Colorado Department of Transportation tells Colorado Public Radio he hopes the expansion will show that CDOT is serious about fixing congestion on I-70 in the mountains.

Construction starts in 2013.

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