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Reconnecting Communities

Central 70 between I-25 and Chambers Road, is one of Colorado's economic backbones. It is home to 1,200 businesses, providing the regional connection to Denver International Airport and carrying upwards of 200,000 vehicles per day. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is bringing this aging highway into the 21st century and rejoining communities along the way.

Project Background

After more than ten years of extensive study, the CDOT recommended to the I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement the partial cover lowered option as preferred alternative, which was developed with community input and has broad public support.

The purpose of the project is to implement a transportation solution that improves safety, access, and mobility and addresses congestion on I-70.  The need for this project results from the following issues:

  • Increased transportation demand
  • Limited transportation capacity
  • Safety concerns
  • Transportation infrastructure deficiencies


The CDOT has made a number of commitments to the local community as part of the Central 70 Project, and is working alongside the city to uphold and implement them. The commitments cover a range of issues, from mitigating the impacts of construction noise and dust to contibuting to affordable housing and fresh food access.

The Central 70 Project seeks to bring a number of improvements that include:

  • Complete reconstruction of I-70 from Brighton Boulevard to I-270, including the addition of one Express Lane in each direction
  • Removal of the 50 year-old viaduct and lowering the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards
  • Widening I-70 from I-270 to Chambers Road to accomodate one Express Lane in each direction
  • Restriping I-70 from I-25 to Brighton Boulevard to accomodate one Express Lane in each direction


Project Timeline

  • 2003: CDOT starts studying a series of improvements to this corridor to make the interstate safer, relieve congestion, and address aging infrastructure
  • 2006: the highway and transit elements of the I-70 East corridor were separated into two independent studies
  • 2008: CDOT publishes a draft of the EIS, no preferred alternative identified
  • 2010: the Preferred Alternative Collaborative Team (PACT) was formed consisting of 26 stakeholders representing federal and state agencies, local governments, and community and businesses interests

  • 2012-2013: CDOT introduces the concept of building a park over I-70 along with the partial lowered alternative
  • 2013: in April, the project team held public meetings attended by more than 400 people, during which the community urged CDOT to move forward with the PCL alternative
  • 2014: the Supplemental Draft EIS is published and identifies a preliminary preferred alternative. The document received 900 comment submittals. In October, the City and County of Denver and a coalition of regional leaders confirmed their support of the Partial Cover Lowered preferred option for I-70
  • 2016: in January, CDOT released the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which compiles the results of more than 10 years of study. The release was followed by a 45-day public review period and two public hearings to complete the study process. Later in the year, CDOT held three public workshops to shape the final design concept for the park cover


  • January: the Federal Highway Administration approved the Record of Decision (ROD), allowing the project to move forward. The ROD is available online.
  • August: CDOT selects Kiewit Meridiam Partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the project
  • August - September: CDOT and the City and County of Denver enter a partnership to implement mitigation and home improvements to 268 homes located within the project's mitigation boundary


Construction is expected to start in summer 2018