The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has deployed a $25m Fire Suppression System at Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels (EJMT) on I 70.
EJMT is the longest and highest mountain tunnel in country’s Interstate highway network.
With the deployment of this system, CDOT will effectively be able to address different types of fires to ensure safety of motorists travelling through the EJMT.
The twin-tunnels recently celebrated their 43rd year without a fatality. However, there have been close calls, a vehicle caught fire in the tunnel in 2000, while another similar incident occurred in 2011.
CDOT executive director Shailen Bhatt said: “If we had to close down either one of those tunnel for an extensive period of time due to fire damage, it would have a big impact on the state’s economy, since this is the primary connection point between eastern and western Colorado.
“In addition, having this system in place helps protect a critical feature of Colorado’s and the nation’s transportation infrastructure.”
Every day, on an average 30,000 vehicles pass through the twin tunnels, which are 2.7km long.
In 2014, Montana-based Barnard Construction Company secured a design and build contract for the project.
A fixed fire suppression system was built within the existing structure of the tunnel.