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CENTRAL 70

Reconnecting Communities
The Interstate 70 corridor between I-25 and Tower Road is Colorado’s only east-west Interstate connection serving as an essential backbone of state and regional commerce, moving residents and tourists between the airport, downtown Denver, and the communities and resorts to the west. The viaduct (the elevated portion of I-70 on a bridge) was constructed in the early 1960s, and is reaching the point where it must be reconstructed to safely convey the traveling public and freight that keeps the Colorado economy moving.

After more than ten years of extensive study, which included reviewing over 200 options, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recommended a “preferred alternative” to the I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Partial Cover Lowered (PCL) option on the exisiting alignment would:

  • Remove the elevated section of I-70
  • Lower the highway below grade
  • Cover the highway by Swansea Elementary School and reconnect the Elyria and Swansea neighborhood.

This alternative was developed over many years of work with community input and has broad public support, including from elected officials. 

Rendering of the future cover over Central 70 at Swansea Elementary

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

Learn more about the I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement

Read the City Council Proclamation in support of the I-70 East Project

 

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

2017

  • 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 March 2018