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Interstate 70 in Colorado

Section of Interstate Highway in Colorado, United States / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Interstate 70 (I-70) is a transcontinental Interstate Highway in the United States, stretching from Cove Fort, Utah, to Baltimore, Maryland. In Colorado, the highway traverses an east–west route across the center of the state. In western Colorado, the highway connects the metropolitan areas of Grand Junction and Denver via a route through the Rocky Mountains. In eastern Colorado, the highway crosses the Great Plains, connecting Denver with metropolitan areas in Kansas and Missouri. Bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles, normally prohibited on Interstate Highways, are allowed on those stretches of I-70 in the Rockies where no other through route exists.

Quick facts: Interstate 70, Route information, Length, His...

Interstate 70 marker

Interstate 70

I-70 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by CDOT
Length449.589 mi[1] (723.543 km)
HistoryDesignated in 1956
Completed in 1992
NHSEntire route
RestrictionsNo hazardous goods allowed in the Eisenhower Tunnel
Major junctions
West endI-70.svgUS_6.svgUS_50.svg I-70 / US 6 / US 50 at Utah state line
Major intersections
East endI-70.svgUS_24.svg I-70 / US-24 at Kansas state line
CountryUnited States
CountiesMesa, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek, Jefferson, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson
Highway system
  • Colorado State Highway System
Colorado_69.svg SH 69Colorado_71.svg SH 71

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) lists the construction of I-70 among the engineering marvels undertaken in the Interstate Highway System and cites four major accomplishments: the section through the Dakota Hogback, Eisenhower Tunnel, Vail Pass, and Glenwood Canyon. The Eisenhower Tunnel, with a maximum elevation of 11,158 feet (3,401 m) and length of 1.7 miles (2.7 km), is the longest mountain tunnel and highest point along the Interstate Highway System. The portion through Glenwood Canyon was completed on October 14, 1992. This was one of the final pieces of the Interstate Highway System to open to traffic and is one of the most expensive rural highways per mile built in the country. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) earned the 1993 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for the completion of I-70 through the canyon.

When the Interstate Highway System was in the planning stages, the western terminus of I-70 was proposed to be at Denver. The portion west of Denver was included in the plans after lobbying by Governor Edwin C. Johnson, for whom one of the tunnels along I-70 is named. East of Idaho Springs, I-70 was built along the corridor of U.S. Highway 40 (US 40), one of the original transcontinental U.S. Highways. West of Idaho Springs, I-70 was built along the route of US 6, which was extended into Colorado during the 1930s.