Blasting at Twin Tunnels signals start of I-70 improvement project

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With a bang — literally, a boom and a cloud of dust — major rock blasting began Friday on the Twin Tunnels project, signaling the start of major improvements to the traffic-choked Interstate 70 mountain corridor.

Local, state and federal officials pushed down an old-time ceremonial dynamite plunger to set off the explosive charges at the east-bound bore of the tunnels. There has been some preliminary blast work around the tunnel, but now workers can start “turn-under” work inside the structure, said officials.

Idaho Springs Mayor Jack Morgan said it’s about time. Communities along the corridor have waited for decades for improvements to the interstate.

“There will be short-term pain for people traveling on I-70” as regular blasting continues through much of the summer, he said. “But there will be long-term gains because of this project.”

The $106 million project includes adding an eastbound lane from the east Idaho Springs interchange to U.S. 6 as well as the expansion of the eastbound tunnel to include three lanes and shoulders.

Read the full story at The Denver Post's website.

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