Oil shortage delays I-70 paving closure in Denver, CDOT says

The same scarcity of truck drivers that’s left some gas stations short on fuel has now caused the state to delay paving on the Central 70 project that was set for the coming weekend.

Asphalt production relies heavily on oil, and the Colorado Department of Transportation said not enough will be delivered in time for a paving blitz that was planned during an Interstate 70 westbound-only closure in northeast Denver on Friday night through Monday morning. The closure has been rescheduled for 10 p.m. July 30 through 5 a.m. Aug. 2.

The project contractors are nearly finished with the middle segment of the 10-mile project between Colorado Boulevard and Quebec Street, while more intensive work continues in the west section. Crews had enough asphalt to complete paving of the middle section’s eastbound lanes during a single-direction weekend closure that ended early Monday, Central 70 project spokeswoman Stacia Sellers said.

“The oil shortage is what caused us to push the (second) closure out a week,” Sellers said, noting that suppliers have told CDOT’s contractors the shortage comes both from a lack of delivery drivers and actual supply. But no further delays to the Central 70 project are anticipated, she said.

At the end of the month, all westbound lanes of I-70 will be closed between Interstate 270 and Colorado Boulevard. The detour will follow I-270 to Interstate 76 and I-25, reconnecting to I-70 at the Mousetrap.

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