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PostSubject: the most memorable    Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:01 am

Initially only two lanes, now the eastbound lanes, through the swell were constructed. The official highway map for Utah noted the new freeway, but qualified its existence with the words "two lanes open".[3] The first portions of I-70 to be constructed to Interstate Highway standards were along the non-disputed portion of the route east of Green River.[3]

The Utah portion of I-70 was not completed to Interstate Highway standards until 1990, when the second Eagle Canyon bridge was dedicated. A second dedication ceremony was held at the bridge declaring the Utah portion of I-70 complete. Archie Hamilton, one of three engineers who worked for Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) long enough to see I-70 progress from conception to completion, said the most memorable moment was seeing the excavation at Spotted Wolf Canyon. He said before construction began, he could stand in one spot and touch both sides of the canyon. To carve the first 8 miles (13 km) through the canyon required excavating 3,500,000 cubic yards (2,700,000 m3) of rock. It was estimated construction cost for the San Rafael Swell portion was $183.5 million, $105.5 million (1970, $595 million in 2008) to build the first two lanes, and $78 million (1990, $130 million in 2008) to construct the rest.[29][30] At the 1970 dedication, it was noted the cost of land acquisition helped to offset the cost of the massive excavation. UDOT acquired the right of way to build the majority of I-70 from the BLM at the lowest cost per mile of any highway in Utah.[1]


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