U.S. District Court Allows Central 70 Project to Move Forward

Nov. 9, 2017 - Decision grants FHWA's and CDOT's motions to dismiss plaintiffs' claims related to City and County of Denver's drainage system

DENVER—The Federal District Court in Denver today granted FHWA and CDOT's motion to dismiss certain claims alleging the Central 70 Project is improperly connected to Denver's Platte to Park Hill stormwater project.

The case was originally filed in July 2017 by Kyle Zeppelin and several Denver residents. In September, the Zeppelin plaintiffs asked the court to temporarily halt the Central 70 Project, seeking to also stop further construction of the Platte to Park Hill Project. The Court found that it lacks the jurisdiction to rule on claims relating to Denver's stormwater project, which can proceed independently, regardless of the Central 70 Project.

Plaintiffs' claims relating to certain environmental issues are still before the Court, and plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to stop the Central 70 Project on these claims as well. However, today's decision allows CDOT to continue forward with the Central 70 Project while the Court continues to deliberate on these other environmental claims.

"This is positive news for the Central 70 Project, and important confirmation of the diligence and effort CDOT has devoted to preparing to deliver a safer and less congested I-70," said Shailen Bhatt, executive director of CDOT. "CDOT has long-maintained that the Central 70 Project will stand up under the toughest legal scrutiny, and today's finding affirms that."

While remaining elements of the litigation proceed to a resolution in the courts, CDOT will continue to implement the Department's commitments to the community. Current efforts include providing home improvements to approximately 300 homes in the Elyria Swansea neighborhood and reconstruction of portions of Swansea Elementary School. Both efforts are related to preparing the local community for the four-year construction period.

About the Central 70 Project

The Central 70 Project will remove the 53-year-old I-70 viaduct in central Denver, lower a section of I-70 below grade, and construct a four-acre park over the interstate in the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods. One new Express Lane will be added in each direction between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road.

In August 2017, CDOT selected Kiewit Meridiam Partners to build and operate the $1.2 billion project. Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2018.

Learn more about the Central 70 Project at central70.codot.gov