The One Person Who Can Stop the I-70 Widening Is John Hickenlooper
While Colorado DOT seems hell-bent on spending billions of dollars to widen I-70, it’s not too late to stop the project. If Governor John Hickenlooper says the word, the city can still escape unscathed from the state’s efforts to ram a super-wide below-grade highway through north Denver.
Going through with the highway widening will have long-lasting consequences, saddling the city with more traffic and more pollution for generations. City residents who want to avoid that fate should make sure the governor’s office knows what they think.
Governors have the power to kill bad projects no matter how far along they are. Last year Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner drove a stake into the Illiana Expressway, an ill-conceived tollway south of Chicago that would have cost $3 billion. The project was a top priority of the previous governor.
It’s not too late for Hickenlooper to do the same in north Denver.
Widening I-70 has never been some pet project of Hickenlooper’s. He’s maintained some distance from it while Mayor Michael Hancock, the City Council, and the Denver Regional Council of Governments have been complicit.
Hickenlooper is now the only person in a position to put his foot down and stomp out a terrible project.
The project’s final public comment period ends March 2. If you want to stop a highway widening that Denver will regret for a long time, tell Hickenlooper and his DOT that the lost homes and businesses, the added congestion, the noise and traffic pollution, and the lost opportunity to make a better city will be laid at his feet.