The project team is currently installing the conveyor system, which will reduce the need for concrete trucks to enter and exit the median of the highway.
The US$276m C-470 Express Lanes project is intended to increase mobility and user choice along 12.5 miles of the highway, between I-25 and Wadsworth Boulevard.
The concrete will be transported by an 85ft-long and 16ft-wide conveyor belt with a clearance of 18ft. There will be a four-foot guardrail on either side of the conveyor belt for the safety of workers and the traveling public.
Colorado Department of Transportation said that the installation of the conveyor system will eliminate 20 minutes of drive time from the batch site to the work zone. The conveyor system will also reduce the number of necessary road closures for paving, as well as enhance safety for the traveling public and crew members.
“Using this system will eliminate more than 6,000 truckloads of concrete from entering and exiting the median, and will also help cut down on emissions and fuel consumption,” said Mike Keleman, C-470 Express Lanes project director. “Safety is CDOT’s number one priority, which is one of the many reasons we decided to move forward with a conveyor system. Cutting down on the amount of trucks entering and exiting the highway will help alleviate slowdowns on C-470, and will actually help accelerate this portion of the project.”
Parts of the structure will be assembled off-site and placed into position during night-time freeway closures.
The concrete will be mixed at the current concrete batch plant off Lucent Boulevard. Then it will be loaded onto the conveyor and conveyed across C-470, where it will be loaded onto trucks in the median that will then move the concrete to its destination along the corridor.
On westbound C-470, crews will build two additional Express Lanes from I-25 to Colorado Boulevard, and one additional Express Lane from Colorado Boulevard to Wadsworth. On eastbound C-470, they will build one additional Express Lane between I-25 and Wadsworth Boulevard.
The project also includes full reconstruction of existing pavement, the addition of auxiliary lanes at selected locations, on- and off-ramp improvements, realignment of substandard curves, widening of existing bridges, replacing the bridges over the South Platte River, the installation of tolling equipment, and new C-470 trail underpasses at Colorado and Quebec.