Colorado’s Interstate 70

Zeb the Duck here and today I want to tell you about one of our highways.  I-70 crosses Colorado, east to west.  This highway has earned the “Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.”

First, let’s talk about the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels.  These two tunnels are 11,158 feet above sea level and go under US 6 and the Continental Divide.  The tunnels are 1.69 miles long.  They are the highest and longest mountain tunnels in the US interstate system.  These tunnels are well lit, ventilated and video monitored at all times.

Driving west, under the Continental Divide

Driving west, under the Continental Divide

This is the westbound entrance.  Still lots of high mountains on top of the tunnels.

Now let’s talk about Glenwood Canyon.  Glenwood Canyon is beautiful,

Glenwood Canyon

Glenwood Canyon

with the Colorado River and Union Pacific Railroad.  This was the last section of I-70 to be completed.  The 2 eastbound lanes of I-70 extend cantilevered over the Colorado River.  The westbound lanes are suspended on a viaduct several feet above the canyon floor.   This allowed a 4 lane interstate highway to be constructed through the canyon with minimal changes to the beautiful Glenwood Canyon.

Highway from the rest area

Highway from the rest area

The rest areas in these 12 miles are beautiful.  The are located on the banks of the Colorado River, with picnic tables and hiking trails. There is no stopping on the highway, so photos just didn’t happen.

Glenwood Canyon and Colorado River

Glenwood Canyon and Colorado River from rest area

Video cameras and real people constantly monitor this section of I-70.

Colorado, like every mountain state has provisions for runaway trucks.  These are trucks with failed brakes.  This is a runaway truck ramp.

Runaway truck ramp on I-70

One of many runaway truck ramps on I-70

The truck drives up this mountain to reduce speed.  The middle of the ramp is deep, loose gravel and there are barrels at the end of the runaway ramp.  Often trucks will be on these ramps.  These ramps save lives in Colorado and elsewhere.

Here are some other photos from I-70.  If you are driving through Colorado on this road, you will see small towns,

Georgetown, Colorado from I-70

Georgetown, Colorado from I-70

mountains, and even the ski slopes of Vail, Copper Mountain and Beaver Creek.  If you are driving through in your car or truck, passing through in your motorhome or cruising on your motorcycle, you will see some beautiful scenery.  Our mountains are beautiful, the rivers are clear and refreshing and if you are east of Denver, the prairie and ranch land is also beautiful.  There is a lot of wildlife in Colorado, so deer, elk and moose will see you and you may see them also.

If you have time, stop to hike, fish, zip line, kayak or raft.  We have so much to offer you, but if you cannot stop, you will still enjoy your scenic drive across Colorado.

Mountains from I-70

Mountains from I-70

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