This Week: Tell CDOT the I-70 Expansion Can’t Be Greenwashed

Colorado DOT will host a meeting in Swansea on Thursday to gather feedback on the proposed “cap” that would be built on top of the wider, sunken I-70. CDOT has used the cap — which would be the site of a park for Swansea Elementary School — to sell the highway expansion, even though it would cover just a small portion of the highway trench.

If built, the I-70 widening would saddle Denver with more traffic and pollution for generations. This meeting is your chance to tell CDOT that a massive highway expansion can’t be greenwashed by putting a park on it.

More on the I-70 event and others below.

Monday: Community Planning and Development and RTD plan to transform the area around I-25 and Broadway into a walkable, bikeable “midtown,” reconnecting neighborhoods divided by the highway. So far it has overcome protests from people who would rather prioritize parking. The City Council will hold a one-hour public hearing later today before deciding whether to adopt the I-25 and Broadway Station Area Plan. If the council approves the plan, the city can finally get the ball rolling on implementation. 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1437 Bannock St.

Thursday: If you’re concerned about the traffic, pollution, and displacement that the I-70 expansion — highway cover included — will generate, make sure CDOT hears you on Thursday. 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Swansea Recreation Center, 2650 E. 49th Ave.

Also Thursday: The Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee will host its monthly meeting. MBAC advises Mayor Michael Hancock on all things biking, and this is where people who ride can make their voices heard about how to make the city more bikeable. No need to be a member — the meetings are open to everyone. 201 W. Colfax Ave., Room 4.F.6 at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday and/or Sunday: Take a 22-mile ramble down Colfax Avenue with the advocates from Walk2Connect. The Camino en Colfax, based on the Camino de Santiago trek in Spain, connects participants with the street’s rich history and character by experiencing it at walking speed. You can sign up for both days or just one. Check out Walk2Connect’s website for more information.

  • mckillio

    How much will this project increase the operating expenses of CDOT? From the financial side, it seems like we only ever talk about the construction costs of adding lanes but how much does it cost in upkeep, paying to plow more lanes, etc.?

    • Mike McDaniel

      Current I-70 w/ existing viaduct: $3million annually

      “The Ditch” [when brand-new]: $11.3million annually

      The current maintenance costs are per a 2012 CDOT document that shows it to be $30million per decade after [and not including the $24 million CDOT spent in 2011 to catch-up on deferred maintenance. It put the elevated viaduct into structurally-sufficient condition].

      The new maintenance is per Chapter 3, exhibit 3-13 of the FEIS.

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