News

Central 70 fuels local economy by exceeding workforce goal

April 7, 2021 - Metro Denver - 600 local workers hired to date

DENVER — As of Feb. 1, 2021, only two and a half years into construction, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Central 70 Project reached an important milestone -  already, 600 local workers have contributed 760,000 hours to the Project.

Prior to the Central 70 Project’s inception, CDOT recognized that this $1.2 billion project had the opportunity to connect local communities to economic benefits and long-term careers. To achieve its local workforce goal, CDOT partnered with employment platform WORKNOW and the Project’s developer, Kiewit Meridiam Partners, to help residents from the 13 ZIP codes surrounding the Project find work on the Project. WORKNOW is a local organization that increases access to career resources for those looking for careers in construction.  

“This milestone would not be possible without the partnership of WORKNOW and Kiewit Meridiam Partners,” said Bob Hays, Central 70 project director. “Central 70 is the biggest project CDOT has ever undertaken, and very early on we knew that we were going to need an extensive workforce that was trained and able to fulfill the vision that was Central 70.”

WORKNOW helped connect local residents to training opportunities, particularly if they had limited experience in the construction industry. The program focuses on supporting working families impacted by growth and development in the Denver metro area. WORKNOW offers a variety of support, including work boots, transportation assistance and career coaching. 

“We were also really intentional to help people not just find good construction jobs, but to keep them, and to encourage retention through ongoing supportive resources and access to additional training,” said Katrina Wert, director of Center of Workforce Initiatives, which houses the WORKNOW program. 

CDOT’s contract with the Central 70 Developer, KMP, also required 200,000 training hours to be provided to employees in the skilled craft. On-the-Job Training is an official United States Department of Transportation program targeted to move women, people of color and disadvantaged individuals into journey-level positions. As of October 2020, the Central 70 Project’s OJT goal of 200,000 hours was surpassed. 

“These goals not only benefit the Project but increases workforce trained employees in the Denver metro area,” said Jason Proskovec, Kiewit deputy director. "The Central 70 workforce program really came together in an effort to help identify, mentor and train local hires to be successful.

Click the image above to link to the Central 70 - Workforce 2021 video. 

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely, and our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options. 

Remember: Slow for the Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

  • Be patient!

About the Central 70 Project

The Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 57-year-old viaduct and lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards. More information on the Project, including a list of the Project’s community commitments, are available at central70.codot.gov.

Stay Informed

  • Text Alerts - Text Central70 to 77948

  • Email Updates - Sign up for Project updates at c70.codot.gov 

  • Website - c70.codot.gov - Traffic Impacts page 

  • Watch progress on the webcam