Tonight: Public Workshop on the I-70 Cover in Elyria Swansea
CDOT’s plan to widen I-70 is an expensive disaster that, as currently designed, is going to generate more traffic and further entrench car dependence. One part of the plan worth keeping, if the highway is not re-routed entirely, is the “cover” proposed for three blocks of the highway in Elyria Swansea. The public can weigh in on how this highway cap should function tonight at a public meeting hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation and Denver city employees.
CDOT’s I-70 proposal would widen the highway from six lanes to 10, lower it into a trench, and build a cover with a park on top for two blocks. Unless CDOT backs off the road expansion, the proposed cap is just a form of greenwashing. That said, it is possible to build the cap without widening the road, and it could help reconnect the neighborhood that’s been divided by the highway.
Tonight’s meeting is meant to get feedback on what neighborhood residents want from the highway cap: plazas, amphitheaters, bike infrastructure, public bathrooms — that sort of thing.
The dilapidated state of the highway viaduct between Colorado Boulevard and Brighton Boulevard was the impetus the massive I-70 project. It needs to be replaced in the next 10 to 15 years, according to CDOT’s draft environmental impact statement. What replaces it is still up for debate.
Residents can weigh in tonight at the Swansea Recreation Center, 2650 East 49th Ave. It starts at 5:30 p.m.