Central 70 Project closes out 2019 with more than 1.2 million manhours worked

December 19, 2019 - Central/Denver Metro Area, Colorado - A look back at 2019 and what is to come in 2020

DENVER —  The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Central 70 Project broke ground in August 2018 and will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging viaduct, lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and place a 4-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate. Despite the challenges of increasing traffic volumes on I-70 and Colorado’s winter weather conditions, crews made notable progress in 2019.

Crews worked more than 1.23 million manhours on the State’s largest transportation project. Significant progress was made in the East segment, between Quebec Street and Chambers Road, with much of the interstate being in its final configuration. Two full weekend closures of I-70 also took place between Interstate 270 and Colorado Boulevard in 2019, which resulted in the demolition and reconstruction of the I-270 flyover and construction of the new Colorado Boulevard bridge, adjacent to the current bridge structure, among other construction activities.

Two bridges on the Project (the I-270 flyover and the I-70 bridge over Peoria) are complete and another 16 bridges on the Project are currently under construction including the Clayton and Columbine streets bridges, which are the bookends of the public park above the lowered section. Significant progress has also been made in the lowered section with nearly 370,000 cubic yards of dirt excavated. The majority of this dirt will be used on different sections of the Central 70 Project or will be used on surrounding projects that are either being constructed by the City and County of Denver or CDOT.  

Picture of Columbine and Clayton streets bridges and construction of lowered section - Dec. 7

Approximately sixteen percent of the Project’s workforce includes people hired from the zip codes surrounding the Project as part of Central 70’s Local Hire Workforce Commitments. These local hires are either employed on the Central 70 Project or by Central 70 subcontractors. More than 67,000 hours have been spent on on-the-job training, which allows those interested in working in construction to learn necessary skills that will help them build a career in the field that will stay with them well beyond Project completion. 

The Central 70 Project is more than the reconstruction of I-70 — it is also about building relationships. In 2019, team members spent nearly 950 hours in the communities along the Project boundaries, which included attending local school events, fairs and festivals, public meetings and community drives. The Central 70 Project has a dedicated bilingual Community Liaison who conducts weekly Community Office Hours to connect with the public in a more informal way to help answer questions or concerns. A calendar is available on the Central 70 Project website that lists where and when these Community Office Hours will be held. The Project team has also dedicated 355 hours to volunteer work in and around the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea communities. 

As part of Central 70’s partnership with Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC), various programs are offered to promote carpooling and public transit. Income qualified employees who commute to businesses along the Central 70 Project are eligible for a free monthly local-fare transit pass. Businesses within a 10-minute walk of a transit station may be qualified for matching funds to offset the costs of RTD’s EcoPass. There are also financial incentives to help start carpools and vanpools. Through this partnership over 450,000 vehicle miles were saved through community and business programs in 2019; over 1,200 trips were made on a NETC shuttle for community members; and over 540 monthly bus passes were distributed.

As the Central 70 Project finishes out 2019, there are a lot of major construction activities scheduled in 2020 including full completion of the Eastern segment of the Project between Quebec and Chambers road, completion of multiple bridges along the corridor and the opening of the first section of 46th Avenue north of I-70. The Project team looks forward to continuing community and commuter outreach efforts and completing major milestones in 2020. 

Whole System.Whole Safety 

Earlier this year, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.

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 55-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