Central 70 Project

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Construction of the Central 70 Project is complete as of July 2023 and the operations and maintenance period has started. Tolling of the Express Lanes began July 11.

For information on:
Highway maintenance (between I-25 and Chambers Road), please visit codot.gov/travel/i70denver
Express Lanes, please visit codot.gov/programs/expresslanes/central-70-express-lanes

About the Project

Central 70, between I-25 and Chambers Road, is one of Colorado's economic backbones. It is home to 1,200 businesses, providing the regional connection to Denver International Airport and carrying upwards of 200,000 vehicles per day. It's time to bring this aging highway into the 21st century and rejoin communities along the way.

The Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 57-year-old viaduct, lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, and place a 4-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate.

CDOT has made a number of commitments to the local community as part of the Central 70 Project. These cover a range of issues, from mitigating the impacts of construction noise and dust to contributing funding to affordable housing and fresh food access.

Project Facts

  • Cost: $1.2 billion
  • Funding Sources:
    • Bridge Enterprise: $850 million
    • DRCOG: $50 million
    • SB 228: $180 million
    • City of Denver: $37 million
  • Contractor: Kiewit Meridiam Partners
  • Timeline: Traffic will be in final configuration by late 2022 with landscaping, installation of park elements and additional punch-list items continuing through 2023. 
  • Location: A 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road

Central 70 Project Brochure

Cropped version english i-70 east

 Improved Infrastructure: The Project will address the deteriorating transportation infrastructure by:

  • Removing the aging viaduct between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and replacing it with a below-grade highway in this area.
  • Addressing problems with structural deficiencies on the other I-70 structures by replacing them.

 Economic Vitality: Reduced congestion and a safer road design will help cut down on delivery delays and will positively affect surrounding businesses.

 Access to Transportation Facilities: The Project will provide for reasonable access to transportation facilities by:

  • Providing access to transportation facilities for a variety of users by improving interchanges, providing updated sidewalks and following Denver's bike plan.
  • Facilitating connections between residential and business activity centers by improving the frontage roads and the interstate access points.

 Mobility: The Project will enhance mobility by providing transportation choices that:

  • Enhance system reliability by providing a congestion-free lane (tolled Express Lane).
  • Balance the transportation needs of local, regional, and national users by providing improvements on an interstate system that is used by local, regional and national travelers.

 Connectivity: Local north-south and east-west connectivity will improve with the Project. The Project also features a 4-acre park over the highway that will connect the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods that were divided when the viaduct was built in the 1960s.

 Driver Choice: After crews add an Express Lane in each direction on I-70, drivers will have the choice to use the Express Lane for a reliable trip in exchange for a toll, or to use one of the three to four general-purpose lanes for free. Carpoolers (vehicles with three or more people) and motorcyclists can ride the Express Lane for free.

 Transportation Capacity: The Project will provide for realistic capacity expansion and minimized future congestion leading to:

  • A sufficient transportation system capacity to ensure the efficient movement of people and goods.
  • Flexibility for future expansion and modification by preserving right-of-way, especially in the lowered section of the highway.