46th Avenue, York Street onramp permanently closed to make way for I-70 construction

The stretch of street beneath I-70 is the first to close as highway work begins.

A phasing map of I-70 construction. (Courtesy, CDOT)

A phasing map of I-70 construction. (Courtesy, CDOT)

KEVIN-lighter

What’s new, updated Oct. 8, 2018:

On Oct. 14, the westbound York Street ramp onto I-70 will close as the highway renovation project slowly disassembles existing infrastructure. 46th Avenue east of York is still open beneath I-70.

Here's what's going down. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Here's what's going down. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

During rush hour, York and Josephine streets heading north toward this ramp has usually been pretty crowded. If that was your route, you might consider taking 37th Avenue to jump on 38th Street over the river, under the train tracks and through Globeville to the Washington Street ramp onto I-70. That’s still a decent way to get on I-25.

Brighton Boulevard is also open, but I’m frankly still a little traumatized from the last year of construction up there. I’m still keen to avoid it, though you’ll probably be fine if you try it.

CDOT also recommends getting over to the Steele Street/Vasquez Boulevard exit and making a near-u-turn just north of the viaduct. All three options are laid out here:

Here's some recommendations for getting Westbound on I-70. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Here's some recommendations for getting Westbound on I-70. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Previous developments:

As of Monday, Sept. 17, the first stretch of roadway related to the I-70 expansion project was shut down.

CDOT announced that 46th Avenue, the street that runs beneath the viaduct, closed between Brighton Boulevard and York Street. It’s that little section that dives down beneath the railroad tracks and was painted up with murals in 2016.

This comes as work begins on the project’s first stage, which involves work on the railroad so future construction and traffic can shimmy around it without blocking trains.

CDOT spokesperson Rebecca White, said drivers will still be able to get onto I-70 westbound at York Street for now. That onramp will close in a month or so. Also, probably in three or four months, CDOT will close 46th Avenue’s eastbound lanes. Right now, east and westbound traffic is divided on either side of the viaduct’s support pillars. When the southern, eastbound lanes close, traffic will continue going both east and west on what is now the northern, westbound side.

Eventually, all of 46th will close as both lanes of highway traffic are lowered beneath the neighborhood grade. Major work on the viaduct is not projected to begin until 2020.

Stay tuned for more announcements as new changes get closer.