Parachute interchange work to begin today
Work will begin a year earlier than scheduled on a new Interstate 70 interchange west of Parachute.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and contractor SEMA Construction will start the work today. It will provide entrance and exit ramps heading east and west, while making use of an existing overpass bridge on U.S. Highway 6.
CDOT resident engineer Roland Wagner said in a news release the project originally was planned for construction next year. He credited a “team effort and partnership” with the Federal Highway Administration and Garfield County for accelerating the design and construction.
The interchange is scheduled to open Oct. 31. Combined with a newly opened bypass connecting to Garfield County Road 215, which heads to gas fields northwest of Parachute, it will ease heavy truck traffic at Parachute’s existing interchange to the east.
CDOT is contributing $6 million to the project’s cost, with other funding coming from the town of Parachute, Garfield County, Battlement Mesa Co., the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and energy companies.
The work will include new roundabouts on each side of the overpass bridge, an asphalt overlay of U.S. 6 and the bridge, new guardrails, wildlife fencing and other improvements. It will cause single-lane closures on U.S. 6 and the bridge, resulting in slowing traffic. Work is anticipated to occur Mondays through Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.