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I-70 Central Project in Northeast Denver

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--- Quote from: iBallasticwolf2 on March 29, 2015, 05:19:09 PM ---
--- Quote from: Bickendan on March 29, 2015, 02:31:05 PM ---
--- Quote from: iBallasticwolf2 on March 28, 2015, 03:23:35 PM ---
--- Quote from: thenetwork on December 01, 2014, 10:20:27 PM ---
--- Quote from: andy3175 on November 28, 2014, 11:43:14 PM ---Discussion continues about the reconstruction of this stretch of highway as evidenced in recent news reports...

--- Quote ---They worry that a Colorado Department of Transportation proposal to widen and add a toll to I-70 will lead to dust, dirt and traffic problems during construction. They fear the good reconstruction jobs will go to people not connected to the neighborhood and that the 500-enrollment Swansea will be shuttered and their kids bused elsewhere. Once I-70 is rebuilt, the parents also fret that high housing and rental rates will follow, forcing them from an area where they've lived in most of their lives. But while CDOT's plans make them nervous, parents are also suspicious of a push to remove I-70 entirely from their backyards and put it instead in an alignment near I-270 and I-76. They like the idea of getting rid of the viaduct in favor of an underground highway with a park covering it. The new alignment proposal is being pushed by a group with no ties to the Swansea area and few concerns about the well-being of residents, say the parents. ... Critics have blasted the CDOT plan, saying it will lead to environmental disaster. They point to a recent report from the American Planning Association that says CDOT is moving ahead based on flawed, out-dated data while ignoring social and economic justice issues. The parents agree the viaduct is hazardous, saying rocks and bits of concrete have fallen on them or their children. Its pillars also make driving confusing. They unanimously favor the cap over the highway, which will connect them to other parts of Denver.
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--- Quote ---The Colorado Department of Transportation received more than 900 comments about its $1.8 billion plan to add tolls to Interstate 70 in northeast Denver and run a portion of the highway below grade. The comments were recorded as part of an environmental study of the project over a 45-day period that ended on Oct. 31. On Thursday, CDOT officials made all comments available on, its project website. That move is unprecedented, said CDOT executive director Don Hunt.
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--- Quote ---Metro-area faith leaders say a $1.8 billion plan to widen a portion of Interstate 70 in northeast Denver should be scuttled because it is a public health threat and will break up low-income families in the area. A group of faith organizations, led by members of the Iliff School of Theology, outlined their concerns with the I-70 proposal in an October letter to Don Hunt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation. The letter is now on a petition. The faith group hopes that CDOT will either drop its I-70 plan or alter it to better suit the homes and businesses in the Swansea and Elyria neighborhoods. ...

CDOT's plan calls for destroying I-70's decaying, 50-year-old viaduct between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and to place the highway below grade. CDOT wants to add two toll lanes in each direction between I-25 and Tower Road and put a nearly four-acre, landscaped cover over the highway by Swansea Elementary. Plans to improve I-70 have been discussed and studied for nearly 10 years and CDOT studied about 90 proposals before settling on the so-called "Partial Cover Lowered Alternative."
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So, in other words, they bitch about how dangerous the I-70 viaduct is currently due to it's age, they'll bitch that a replacement is bad for them, and they'll bitch if I-70 is completely taken away from their neighborhood. 

I have a box of rocks sitting behind my shed with more intelligence than those people.

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No matter what happens to I-70, they will gripe about it, they deserve to be ignored

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They'll gripe for being ignored. ;)

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Update on the I-70 Widening/expansion project in northeast Denver... the PIRG report is discussed in detail at

--- Quote --- $1.2 billion proposal to widen and toll parts of Interstate 70 through northeast Denver is being called one of the country's most wasteful highway projects by a national public interest group.

But state planners for I-70 say their designs for the highway will improve local neighborhoods, cut congestion and provide welcome alternatives for motorists. They said the project is a 100-year investment in the corridor.

"We will have an express lane to encourage car pooling, a commuter rail line will soon be opening nearby, ... these are the types of projects we want to see developed," said Rebecca White, spokeswoman for the east I-70 project. "We are going to do this in a very thoughtful way."

Still, a report by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group, or CoPIRG unveiled under the shadow of the I-70 viaduct near Swansea Elementary School says the I-70 proposal will burn up at least $58 million in taxpayer dollars. That's funding that could go toward investing in other forms of transportation, like a commuter bus service or in programs to discourage driving, said Danny Katz, director of the CoPIRG Foundation.

CoPIRG lumps the I-70 proposal with 11 national highway projects that will waste at least $24 billion in tax dollars. The report says the projects are "wrongly prioritizing expansion over repair of existing infrastructure" and are based on poor projections of future needs. ...

At a news conference Tuesday near Swansea Elementary, which is next to the I-70 expansion area, Katz said the viaduct is a "dirty mess" but added that expanding the highway to 10 lanes is not needed.

"We need to be spending our limited transportation dollars on repairing and maintaining our current roads and bridges and investing in transportation solutions that reduce the need for costly and disruptive highway expansion projects," Katz said.

He said research shows that adding more lanes on highways does not solve congestion, but rather creates more traffic in which more drivers spend more time behind the wheel.

CDOT, however, says its plan remakes a badly worn highway while also adding alternatives like toll lanes. They will encourage motorists to get off the general purpose lanes and relieve congestion. The agency says the section of I-70 is congested up to 10 hours a day and carries up to 220,000 vehicles daily.

"I-70 can't handle the traffic now, and we are looking at a 40 to 50 percent growth over the next few years," said White. "If we do nothing, you can expect it to take 65 minutes to travel 12 miles on the highway."

CDOT wants to remove the deteriorating 50-year-old viaduct on I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Colorado Boulevard, lowering the highway below grade and adding two tolled express lanes in each direction.

The viaduct would be replaced with a 4-acre green cover near the elementary school. This will reunite the Swansea and Elyria neighborhoods.

The plan has also garnered support from various groups including the Denver Chamber of Commerce, National Western Stock Show, Union Pacific Railroad and the Elyria-Swansea Business Association.
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The public review period for the Final EIS is from January 15, 2016 through March 2, 2016:

--- Quote ---The preferred fix for I-70 calls for removing the deteriorating, 50-year-old viaduct between Brighton and Colorado boulevards; lowering I-70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, just east of I-25, about 40 feet; building a nearly 4-acre landscaped cover over I-70 as it runs by Swansea Elementary School; and adding tolled express lanes in each direction of the interstate.

CDOT's plan for the corridor has been met with some opposition, and officials say the FEIS helps answer the critics of its proposal. ...

A final decision on CDOT's plan is scheduled for this summer. CDOT hopes to begin construction in late 2017 after a private partner is selected to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the project.
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The Ghostbuster:
I just looked at the viaduct on Google Maps via Streetview, and that is one ugly viaduct. It is good that it is being replaced. I like the idea of adding toll lanes to the corridor. Hopefully it should improve mobility along that stretch of Interstate 70.

The street beneath the viaduct is creepy too!

This viaduct has always been very interesting to me. US 6 actually runs on the lower portion, and has since it was rerouted onto Vasquez Boulevard, which was well before the freeway was built. I have a pic of the US 6 reassurance shield from below the deck somewhere, but even Google Maps shows this if you zoom in. The top is just decrepit: no merge lanes, limited guardrails, narrow lanes. A lot of it has to be below modern interstate standards.
Depressing it, creating a Big Dig style urban boulevard or even something similar to what was done with the CA 15 connection in San Diego, where they just plopped a park on top of it, would be really nice, even though that may remove one of the more interesting sections of Route 6.
They should jump on this now, while it's still a crappy neighborhood. It's only a matter of time before the hipsters from RiNo have to find another place, drive up the property values and make ROW acquisition a lot harder.


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