Originally Posted by NayBreak
^^^so we'll only see it on weekends. Yet still, traffic is releasing to normal speeds at Empire even with the lane closed. I saw the same thing on Monday - metering at the tunnel, (minor) backups to all the way down to Georgetown, then clear. Pretty convinced that with the widening that the usual scared drivers are maintaining speed down through Idaho Springs. Honestly, that's of greater value than the shoulder lane.
IMHO, this current faster, more even traffic flow is more because CDOT is doing almost no construction or clean up in that stretch, comparatively, finally.
CDOT is doing less unpredictable orange coning off the shoulders or coning to divert a lane or narrow a lane or close a lane for a short stretch or for miles, for good or no apparent reason; for small work areas or large (often with no apparent work going on); miles of orange cones, who knows where they'll be. And there is much less going on, for now, at the notorious Idaho Springs bridge overpass (again, with many orange cones and , often, cops).
I've noticed that drivers slow way down with just the appearance of orange cones from Idaho Springs to Empire - in part because they've been conditioned, in that area, to expect the high likelihood of road hazards, road narrowing, lanes closed or uneven, unfinished construction, rough or uneven road finishes, and County and State Patrol cops in wait, trying to manage things. All of it constantly changing, no two drives the same. Ha!