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Federal Judge rules Central 70 can proceed with Construction

On April 3, U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez ruled that the Central 70 Project can proceed with construction while the case brought against the Project by the Sierra Club et. al. continues through the courts. This decision, along with the recent dismissal of a second lawsuit, confirms CDOT’s long-standing position that the diligence and community-centered focus that led to the Central 70 Project would stand up to the toughest legal scrutiny. While this is not the final step in the legal process, it is an important validation of the work we have done over the last 15 years and will continue to do as we move this important project forward.

 Lawsuit Dismissed

Earlier this month, a lawsuit filed against the Federal Highway Administration in relation to the Central 70 Project was dismissed. The lawsuit claimed that the Central 70 Project was improperly connected to Denver’s Platte to Park Hill stormwater project. The lawsuit, filed in July 2017 by developer Kyle Zeppelin et al., was followed up by an injunction asking the courts to stop both the Denver drainage and Central 70 Project until the suit was settled. In November, the judge denied the request to halt work for either project. A request to reconsider the decision also was denied. In early February, the plaintiffs decided to withdraw their complaint and the lawsuit was dismissed.

This decision is the fourth lawsuit/complaint against the Central 70 Project to be dismissed. There is one lawsuit pending.

CDOT’s Central 70 Project Will Continue to Move Forward

On July 10, CDOT was advised that litigation has been filed in Federal District court in Denver, challenging the January 2017 Record of Decision (ROD) issued by the Federal Highway Administration, which concluded a 14-year-old I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. Read the press release.

Xcel Energy to Begin Utility Work

Starting Tuesday, May 30, Xcel Energy will begin preparing to move existing overhead utility lines underground before the construction phase of the Central 70 Project. Additionally, Level 3 crews will be working with Xcel Energy to prepare for moving communication lines. This work will require crews to dig a trench, work to install conduits and vaults underneath the roadway, cover up the trench, repave the road, and move to the next area.

Xcel Energy and Level 3 sub-contractors will be burying conduits (or tubes) underground in a joint trench that will be the future holding space for electrical and communication lines for Xcel Energy and Level 3 Communications. These conduits will remain empty until the new highway is constructed. Once the bridge at Josephine is in place, the conduits will be extended over I-70 on the new bridge and will be connected to the sections that are being placed. The electrical and communication lines will be pulled through and connected. Then, at last, the overhead lines can be removed.

See a map of where this work will be done and where the staging areas will be. Staging areas are needed for crews to stage and store equipment throughout the duration of this work.

This work will take several months and will include road closures in the affected areas. More details will be provided as the schedule progresses.

For more immediate information on the work that Xcel will be performing, please contact Jon Moe at 1-800-895-4999.

FHWA Issues Positive Civil Rights Review of CDOT's I-70 Project

On April 12, 2017, the Federal Highway Administration's Civil Rights Office released the findings of an investigation into CDOT's compliance with Title VI requirements through its study of the I-70 East corridor in north Denver. The investigation found that there is "insufficient evidence that the Project will create adverse, disparate impacts."

The finding goes on to state that CDOT has provided a "substantial legitimate justification for its actions and shown that a less discriminatory alternative has not been identified."

Download the full report.

Reroute? Not so awesome.

Some have suggested that it would be cheaper and easier to entirely move—or reroute—I-70 onto I-270 and I-76, and replace I-70 with a city street. In addition to the many practical concerns with this idea (see below for impacts on local street traffic), the cost is estimated at around $3.2 billion—nearly triple the cost of the current Project. To see what's included, download the Reroute Fact Sheet.

Traffic Map
Select the map to expand it.

Traffic Impacts from I-70 Reroute

  • There are 684 businesses within the quarter-mile buffer on each side of I-70 between I-25 and I-270.
  • Approximately 11,408 employees would lose highway access and be forced to use surface streets if I-70 were rerouted.
  • Rerouting I-70 while leaving 46th Avenue at its current location encourages highway users needing to access these locations to use 46th Avenue to reach their destinations rather than staying on I-70.
  • Rerouting I-70 would also force delivery trucks and other large vehicles to use 46th Avenue frequently to reach the industrial areas and businesses near the existing interstate.
  • The resulting high-traffic volumes and the truck traffic on 46th Avenue could degrade the quality of the neighborhood, and cause safety concerns for neighborhoods, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

Myths and Facts

There's a lot of misinformation going around. Download the Fact Sheet to get accurate information on the Central 70 Project.

Air Quality

Air quality analysis remains one of the most critical components of the environmental study and is a key concern for local residents, CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. CDOT must follow the requirements of the Clean Air Act along with guidance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Fact Sheets and Information



The Central 70 Project includes a robust and independent drainage system designed to handle a 100-year storm event. Learn more about the drainage plan.

Property Acquisition

The Central 70 Project requires the acquisition of 56 residential properties and 17 businesses. CDOT is required to follow the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Act for all property acquisitions.

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