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Author Topic: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface  (Read 11998 times)

coatimundi

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2017, 11:15:30 AM »

It took me a few minutes of reading this thread this morning to realize that it was no longer 2016.

The section of the final EIS that talks about the 270/76 alternative has exactly what I thought when I first heard about that:

Quote
“The I-270/I-76 reroute does not meet the project’s purpose and need because it would add safety and congestion problems rather than improving those that exist today. While, in sense [sic], removing I-70 would “eliminate” the current congestion and safety problems the project seeks to remedy (as there would no longer be an I-70 on that alignment), after its removal, traffic volumes on local streets will increase and transfer the safety and mobility problems from I-70 to the local network.

I think people automatically have this idea that traffic will just follow wherever the freeway goes, but it won't. In fact, I bet if you cut out I-70, Google Maps would tell you to take the surface streets to reach I-25. And it's a lot more dangerous for kids to have a surface street with heavy traffic than a cut-and-cover freeway, or even the creepy viaduct they have now (which is not very heavily utilized).
Even if the bridge over the railroad at the west end was completely removed, and all ramps from the I-25/70 interchange going east were taken out, people would still try to cut through.

It would be interesting because I'd like to see how they re-routed both US 6 and US 85 along the corridor if they got rid of I-70.
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usends

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2017, 10:09:41 PM »

It would be interesting because I'd like to see how they re-routed both US 6 and US 85 along the corridor if they got rid of I-70.
Yes, it would be interesting to see if CDOT even addressed that issue... because currently, they don't direct US 6 or US 85 traffic at all: once those routes reach an interstate in Denver, drivers are not shown how to continue following those routes.  There are a couple reassurance markers on I-70, but they're pretty pointless, since drivers were not told how to get there in the first place.  And you've heard what CDOT did in the Springs, right?  The route log for US 85 has it joining I-25 at a point where there is no access.  CDOT really doesn't seem to give a rip about US route continuity.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2017, 02:40:38 AM »

It took me a few minutes of reading this thread this morning to realize that it was no longer 2016.

The section of the final EIS that talks about the 270/76 alternative has exactly what I thought when I first heard about that:

Quote
“The I-270/I-76 reroute does not meet the project’s purpose and need because it would add safety and congestion problems rather than improving those that exist today. While, in sense [sic], removing I-70 would “eliminate” the current congestion and safety problems the project seeks to remedy (as there would no longer be an I-70 on that alignment), after its removal, traffic volumes on local streets will increase and transfer the safety and mobility problems from I-70 to the local network.

I think people automatically have this idea that traffic will just follow wherever the freeway goes, but it won't. In fact, I bet if you cut out I-70, Google Maps would tell you to take the surface streets to reach I-25. And it's a lot more dangerous for kids to have a surface street with heavy traffic than a cut-and-cover freeway, or even the creepy viaduct they have now (which is not very heavily utilized).
Even if the bridge over the railroad at the west end was completely removed, and all ramps from the I-25/70 interchange going east were taken out, people would still try to cut through.

It would be interesting because I'd like to see how they re-routed both US 6 and US 85 along the corridor if they got rid of I-70.

If those people are that clueless to think that traffic used to driving straight on I-70 won't simply continue on their supposedly wonderful "boulevard", and thusly choke up both their air and noise quality and further divide their neighborhoods, then that's their myopia. Personally, I'd simply rebuild the viaduct and use CSS design to mitigate the visual issues, but that's only me.
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roadfro

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2017, 03:46:43 AM »

Personally, I'd simply rebuild the viaduct and use CSS design to mitigate the visual issues, but that's only me.

CSS design?

I'm assuming you're not referring to "cascading style sheets" used in website designs...
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2017, 07:00:14 AM »

Personally, I'd simply rebuild the viaduct and use CSS design to mitigate the visual issues, but that's only me.

CSS design?

I'm assuming you're not referring to "cascading style sheets" used in website designs...

CSS = Context Sensitive Solutions, essentially rebuilding a highway facility to mesh with the surrounding area.

This page describes how CSS is being employed for the Lafayette, Louisiana, I-49 Connector project:

http://lafayetteconnector.com/the-project/completing-the-functional-plan/about-css/

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Rothman

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2017, 08:06:13 AM »

CSS =  PR
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coatimundi

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2017, 10:35:01 AM »

CSS =  PR

It appears to be a made-up methodology for the sort of stakeholder involvement that's already been going on for years on this project. I don't like when I see future tense in a paragraph regarding a standards manual.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2017, 04:53:06 PM »

Will the opposition to the Interstate 70 project ultimately lead to its cancelation? Or will the DOT preserve, and complete construction of the project as planned?
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NE2

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2017, 04:58:14 PM »

Will the opposition to the Interstate 70 project ultimately lead to its cancelation? Or will the DOT preserve, and complete construction of the project as planned?
Why do you post crap like this?
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2017, 04:59:53 PM »

I'm asking what I believe is a valid question, NE2. Please don't insult me. If the answer is unknowable, please say so.
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NE2

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2017, 05:01:18 PM »

What do you think? Can we see the future?
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roadfro

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2017, 03:45:06 PM »

Personally, I'd simply rebuild the viaduct and use CSS design to mitigate the visual issues, but that's only me.

CSS design?

I'm assuming you're not referring to "cascading style sheets" used in website designs...

CSS = Context Sensitive Solutions, essentially rebuilding a highway facility to mesh with the surrounding area.

This page describes how CSS is being employed for the Lafayette, Louisiana, I-49 Connector project:

http://lafayetteconnector.com/the-project/completing-the-functional-plan/about-css/
Thanks. I was familiar with the concept, but hadn't seen it used as an acronym before.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2017, 03:45:41 PM »

Let me try again. Perhaps instead of a cut-and-cover tunnel, they should have gone with a deep-bored tunnel. I realize that would have jacked up the cost, and likely prolonged the construction schedule, but it might have alleviated the opposition's concerns. Then again, the only time I was in Denver was in the summer of 2013, when I visited my late grandfather and step-grandmother, and my time there did not bring me to the part of Denver where this project is going to be constructed. In any event, I think the proposal to reroute Interstate 70 to follow 76 and 270 won't make much difference in the scheme of things.
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coatimundi

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2017, 03:58:54 PM »

and my time there did not bring me to the part of Denver where this project is going to be constructed

It's been a pretty sorry area for a number of years, but that may be directly related to I-70's original construction. However, gentrification has also pushed up there from the south, so I think there are two things that aren't being said about this: the gentrifiers are likely some of the more vocal opponents of this; and improving the situation will only work to speed up the gentrification of this neighborhood, particularly north of I-70.

The proximity of the project to the river is also a concern but, in reading the hydrology section of the EIS, it seems as though that's the whole reason they've been building these drainage structures alongside the freeway.
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andy3175

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2017, 12:25:47 AM »

Interstate 70 Central project receives FHWA approval on 1/19/2017:

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2017/01/19/federal-highway-administration-approves-i-70-project/

Quote
The Federal Highway Administration has approved the Interstate 70 expansion project in the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods in northeast Denver.

CDOT says it’s the final approval needed in the $1.2 billion proposal to remove the existing I-70 viaduct between Colorado and Brighton Boulevards, lower the highway approximately 30 feet below grade, and add toll lanes.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/feds-sign-off-on-12b-plan-to-lower-cover-part-of-i-70-in-denver

Quote
The $1.2 billion Central 70 Project is the result of years of research, discussions and public outreach seeking solutions for the aging 10-mile section of highway between I-25 and Chambers Road. State officials have said that section of roadway needs to be replaced within the next 10 years.

The project aims to relieve traffic congestion in the area while also connecting neighborhoods on either side of I-70 that have essentially been cut off from each other since the freeway was built in the mid-60s.

Plans for the project include adding a new express lane in each direction, demolishing the raised portion of the freeway, lowering it to below street level between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and covering the freeway with a four-acre park.

The park, which is being designed with the input from neighbors, will feature a sports field, play areas and spaces for concerts and farmers’ markets.

The project also includes money for nearby neighborhoods, with plans to remodel parts of Swansea Elementary School and homes nearest to the freeway in Swansea and Elyria. An additional $2 million is earmarked for affordable housing in the area.

An infrastructure project of this size and scope doesn’t come without some growing pains. Transportation officials said the Central 70 project will require displacing people from 56 residential properties and 17 businesses. Those people will receive relocation assistance and other help under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Uniform Act.

The Central 70 project also includes a focus on providing work for local residents. Transportation officials aim to require filling 20 percent of construction jobs on the project with people who live in surrounding neighborhoods.

Design work on the freeway rebuild is expected to be completed this summer, with construction to begin sometime in 2018. The project is expected to take four to five years to complete.
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DJStephens

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2017, 01:21:54 PM »

Appears that sanity has prevailed here.  Removal of an ancient elevated structure, featuring depression, a deck park, and modest capacity improvements, along with modernization and safety improvements.   
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thenetwork

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2017, 09:58:01 PM »

I take it there are still no plans to temporarily or permanently 3-lane the mainlines of I-76 and I-270 in each direction in advance of the rebuild?  That is so going to be a choke-point for east-west construction bypass traffic, especially on I-270 as it is already over-capacity.
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Henry

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2017, 10:37:51 AM »

First it was Boston, then it was Seattle, and now it'll be Denver? Cool!
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coatimundi

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2017, 11:59:24 AM »

I take it there are still no plans to temporarily or permanently 3-lane the mainlines of I-76 and I-270 in each direction in advance of the rebuild?  That is so going to be a choke-point for east-west construction bypass traffic, especially on I-270 as it is already over-capacity.

That's a good point, but I doubt that any of that is in the budget or plans.

It's too early to know what will happen, exactly, but these large-scale projects typically keep the road open in some form throughout the construction process. US 59 through Houston had a similar project, where an elevated section was lowered and widened, and it was always kept open, though with some understandable delays. But then there was the widening of I-10 through Tucson, where frontage roads were built specifically in preparation of the project to widen the mainlanes. The project timeline was significantly shortened by pushing traffic onto those frontage roads for several months, and they now have very underutilized 3-lane frontage roads on either side of the freeway.
That may happen here. The renderings show surface streets basically serving as frontage roads (as they do now), so there may be a period of time when I-70 does end up coming through the neighborhood.
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TML

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2017, 11:58:03 PM »

This is one of three viaduct replacement projects I've recently been following (the others being 81 in Syracuse and 84 in Hartford).

In this case, although a reroute option (with a boulevard along the original route) was considered, it was ultimately turned down by TPTB (although there are still some groups trying to get TPTB to reconsider its decision).

In the other two cases, things are a bit different: with 84 in Hartford, there was never any serious consideration to reroute the highway (all of the "finalist" options had 84 essentially staying its present course). With 81 in Syracuse, however, the reroute/boulevard option seems to be the preferred option by TPTB (although it seems to be unpopular among some local/regional groups and elected officials, who are calling for 81 to stay its present course instead of rerouting it).

Now, I wonder if the groups which support the reroute/boulevard option for 70 will have any success in getting TPTB to reconsider their decision...
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coatimundi

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2017, 10:50:22 AM »

Now, I wonder if the groups which support the reroute/boulevard option for 70 will have any success in getting TPTB to reconsider their decision...

Welcome, and excellent first post.

With this, the second they seriously suggest using 270-76 as a new I-70 alignment, all the money that goes through that interchange on a daily basis is going to be up in arms.
My one time in Syracuse, I can recall I-81 through the city being pretty obtrusive. And 481 doesn't seem to add very much mileage. Is there that much thru traffic on I-81 through Syracuse? That's, I think, the big difference: I-70 through Denver sees a lot of thru traffic due to it being one of the only viable truck routes through the Rockies. But, also, we're not talking about Downtown Denver here. It's a low-density residential and light industrial area that's lived with this viaduct for 50 years. Divorcing all the bad things about it now is just infeasible. CDOT seems to realize this in its assessments, and though there's been a lot of meetings with the neighbors to mitigate impact, the total reroute some of them want has never been a serious consideration.
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coatimundi

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2017, 02:29:35 PM »

The internets knew what I had an interest and gave me a Facebook click-bait ad. But highly related:
http://www.citylab.com/commute/2017/01/the-highway-hit-list/514965/
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Gnutella

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2017, 07:42:51 AM »

I just looked at the elevated segment of I-70 in Denver on Google Street View, and it looks a lot like the elevated segment of I-70 in Topeka, except with more lanes.
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theroadwayone

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2017, 12:58:04 AM »

I heard that when they depressed SR 15 here in San Diego, it led to a decrease in crime, prostitution, and the like in the North Park area. I don't know if that kind of effect will be had with the I-70, but it's worth a go.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Denver's I-70 may be rebuilt below surface
« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2017, 04:49:52 PM »

I have one question. What would they do with the existing E. 46th Ave surface street if the depressed freeway option were pursued and constructed (theoretically)?
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