Colorado DOT announces near completion of Central 70 Project

© Colorado DOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it had successfully completed the last major milestone for the Central 70 Project on I-70 over the weekend.

The announcement marks the end of major construction impacts on I-70 and allows drivers to proceed in the new permanent alignment of westbound I-70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards in Denver.

“There was never a doubt that the main goal of CDOT was to complete the Central 70 Project within budget and on schedule, and we are on track to do that,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We are grateful for the public’s patience as we work to complete this critical project. Our number one priority is to deliver a high-quality product to the people of Colorado. Having I-70 in its final configuration now allows motorists to safely travel along the corridor and let crews focus on completing the 4-acre cover park above the interstate.”

One of Colorado’s economic backbones, Central 70 provides the regional connection to Denver International Airport and carries upwards of 200,000 vehicles a day. Since the Project’s groundbreaking in August of 2018, I-70 has undergone a complete reconstruction, including the construction of 19 bridges that were either newly built or replaced and 24 ramps.

“More than seven million hours have been dedicated to building this Project,” said Lew. “It has been incredible to watch this Project come to life after an over 15-year study period. CDOT is proud of the partnerships we have developed with the Central 70 Project Developer Kiewit Meridiam Partners, the City and County of Denver, Northeast Transportation Connections, WORKNOW, and our many dedicated subcontractors to make this Project successful. It has been a long time coming, and we hope the public will enjoy the many safety improvements that come with the reconstruction of the corridor as well as the trip time reliability when the Express Lane tolling comes online in early 2023.”

Now that major work is completed, the Project’s main focus will be on completing the 4-acre cover park over the interstate. The new playground for Swansea Elementary School is part of the cover park and was opened to students on their first day of school on August 22. Trees and landscaping are currently being planted ahead of winter, and the foundation for a future amphitheater is being set. Additionally, crews will work on installing stadium lighting for soccer fields and equipping concessions buildings with public restrooms.

“We look forward to inviting the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighbors to join us for an appreciation event to celebrate the opening of the park later this fall,” said Lew. “While motorists have been impacted by various closures on I-70 over the past four years, residents have been impacted on almost a daily basis as we work to improve the neighborhood’s north/south connections, build out new, ADA-compliant sidewalks, and place critical safety infrastructure including new crosswalks, street lights, and stoplights. We recognize that this Project has been an inconvenience, and this event will not only celebrate reconnecting the communities but also show our gratitude for the community’s patience during construction.”

Motorists are asked to remain diligent while crews continue working on various punch list items.