News

Two Weeks Left for Public Comments on I-70 East Study

October 20, 2014 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER– Two weeks remain in the public comment period for the latest draft of the environmental study on improvements to Interstate 70 (I-70) through northeast Denver and Aurora.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will accept comments through Oct. 31.

“Our goal has been to make this process as transparent as possible, because we are approaching the time when decisions will be made about this corridor,” said Kirk Webb, National Environmental Policy Act director for CDOT Region 1. “With 250 people participating in our public hearings and hundreds of comments submitted to date, we are pleased by the response we have received from the public, agencies and other stakeholders. However, there are still two weeks to make comments and we want people to know it is not over yet.”

CDOT released the draft study of transportation improvements for the 12-mile corridor between Interstate 25 and Tower Rd. on August 29, kicking off the public comment period, which was originally scheduled to end October 14.  The I-70 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) project is analyzing transportation alternatives to improve safety, access and mobility while reducing congestion.

Those interested have several options for submitting their comments.  Comments can be sent via mail to I-70 East EIS Team, Colorado Department of Transportation, 2000 S. Holly St., Denver, CO 80222; email at [email protected]; telephone at 303-757-9413; online at www.i-70east.com. The project office at 3501 East 46th Ave. will accept comments 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon, Friday and Saturday.  

Copies of the study are available at 17 public locations throughout metro Denver, which are listed on the project website www.I-70east.com. The report also is available for viewing on the website and at the project office.

New to the website are several animations showing how the preferred alternative will look and operate. The animations are available at http://www.i-70east.com/visualization_PartialCover_animation03.html#animation.

The three-volume report, officially called the I-70 East Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS), analyzes three alternatives and their impacts on environmental and social resources.

The SDEIS also preliminarily identifies a preferred alternative that would remove the deteriorating, 50-year-old viaduct between Brighton Blvd. and Colorado Blvd., lower the highway below grade, add two tolled express lanes in each direction between I-25 and Tower Rd., and build an almost four-acre landscaped cover over the interstate by Swansea Elementary School. Community leaders helped develop the preferred alternative that is preliminarily identified in the SDEIS during a decade-long public process.

“CDOT has spent a decade of working with residents, businesses and other stakeholders on this important, 100-year investment and the preferred alternative reflects the values and concerns we have heard,” Webb said.

The SDEIS includes discussions on issues and concerns CDOT has heard from the community, including environmental and air quality concerns, as well as a proposal to re-route I-70 north onto Interstate 270 and Interstate 76.

After considering input from the public review and comment period, CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will issue a Final EIS, which will respond to comments and questions, and will formally identify the preferred alternative.  At the conclusion of the process, the FHWA is expected to issue a Record of Decision (ROD), which selects the preferred alternative, allowing final design and construction to begin. The Colorado Transportation Commission has asked the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) to explore financial options for the I-70 East project.

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