DENVER (CBS4) – Westbound Interstate 70 will close between Interstate 270 and Colorado Boulevard beginning at 10 p.m. Friday. Final paving operations are planned throughout the weekend as part of the Colorado Department of Transportation's Central 70 Project.
If you've driven this stretch of I-70, you'll likely recall warehouses and industrial buildings lining the highway. Below the overpasses are small businesses you can't see. They're still open, despite losing customers after years of construction.
"They have a lot of closures on the street and people can't access the business. We've lost a lot of customers because of construction," said Oscar Perez, owner of Tacos La Tapatia. "But the noise of the cars goes away! That's a good part."
Tacos La Tapatia is located near I-70 and Clayton. The business opened in 2019, in the middle of the Central 70 Project. This weekend, CDOT says Perez's restaurant won't be the only place harder to reach.
"There are about 100 businesses in that section of I-70 that is going to be closed. We've been working closely with those businesses," said Stacia Sellers at CDOT.
In an effort to attract more business, Perez says CDOT offered him a way to provide $5 off for customers during construction.
The closure will last through 5 a.m. Monday. The detour to take is westbound I-270 to westbound I-76. Once on I-76, take I-25 south and head back onto I-70 west or head along on I-76 to where it joins with I-70.
Navigating this stretch of I-70 has been jolting to drivers, locals and those passing through. CDOT says it'll be a different ride after the work is done.
"The lanes aren't as wide as they will be once we switch traffic into its final configuration. Come Monday, lanes are going to be 12 feet wide and you'll be able to drive very smoothly in this area," said Sellers.
The project was delayed one weekend in July because of an oil shortage and then the following weekend it was put off again because of weather conditions.
CDOT officials say the Central 70 Project is nearly finished with the construction of the new three-mile stretch of I-70 between Colorado Boulevard and Quebec Street. Crews will be finished with this section by fall 2021.
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