GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Sturgeon Electric Company, Inc. (Sturgeon Electric) recently completed a major tunnel lighting renovation project in De Beque Canyon near Grand Junction, Colorado. The Beavertail tunnels shelter a section of Interstate 70 (I-70), America’s primary conduit for traversing the Continental Divide. With 16,000 motorists navigating the tunnels every day at high speed, innovative solutions were needed to foster safety while minimizing traffic impacts. Partnering with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Sturgeon Electric met these challenges by instituting a traffic control plan to divert traffic, one tunnel at a time, to an adjacent roadway along a canyon wall. This strategy allowed traffic to migrate away from the worksite, providing open access for our crews to execute work without the hazards of partial lane closures.
In the process, Sturgeon Electric crews removed 426 existing fixtures and installed new infrastructure to support 418 new LED lights. These LED lights consume less power while providing significantly improved visibility for motorists. Sturgeon Electric also installed 8,100 feet of conduit, 6,000 feet of unistrut, and 136,000 feet of cabling and wire. In addition, structural assemblies were pre-fabricated both onsite and offsite, to maximize the speed of installation and improve quality.
Sturgeon Electric also performed additional scope of work for the owner, beyond the original bid which consisted of replacing six bridge expansion joints, structural repair of the tunnels, and new conduit and wiring for street lights outside the tunnel.
All the original work and additionally requested scope was completed under budget and eight weeks ahead of schedule.
Kudos to Sturgeon Electric’s Commercial & Industrial and Transportation groups, who made this project a success through their collaboration and dedication to pre-planning and safety.