Central 70 completes demolition of the 57-year-old viaduct in Denver

September 30, 2021 - Central/Eastern Colorado - Demolition completed one month early

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation’s Central 70 Project successfully demolished the 2-mile-long Interstate 70 viaduct between Colorado and Brighton boulevards in four months, one month ahead of schedule. 

Viaduct before removal

Viaduct on May 14, 2021 - prior to the traffic shift

After viaduct removal

Viaduct demolished - Sept. 26, 2021

“Safe, successful, and timely demolition has been our priority since day one,” said Bob Hays, CDOT's Central 70 project director. “The intricacies of conducting demolition in such a confined area close to homes and businesses were a challenge. But from careful planning and execution, the team completed another major Project milestone and Denver’s I-70 viaduct is now a thing of the past.”

Demolition by the numbers (since May 2021): 

  • More than 45,000 hours worked to complete demolition.

  • 18 excavators used in tandem to carefully remove sections of the viaduct at a time.

  • A total of 52,000 cubic yards of concrete and 1,025 tons of steel removed and recycled.

  • More than 4,500 dump truck loads of debris removed

Throughout demolition, the project team was also able to support nearly a dozen impacted businesses through a coupon book initiative. Central 70 worked with businesses along 46th South Avenue to create a coupon book to promote businesses directly impacted by the Project and help drive revenue. Nearly 100 coupon books offering $5 off any product or service were distributed to nearby residents and community members. In exchange for $5 off coupons, the Central 70 Project gave $500 checks to each participating business. 

“With the viaduct demolition happening just feet away from some of these businesses, we wanted to help encourage customers to continue to frequent these local shops and restaurants,” said Central 70 Communications Manager Stacia Sellers. “In addition, Kiewit offered businesses cleaning services to combat dust, which is inevitable with any demolition activities.”  

With viaduct demolition now complete, crews will continue excavating for the future eastbound lanes of I-70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, which will mirror the current lanes motorists are traveling on today. 

During the construction of these future eastbound lanes, traffic on I-70 through the lowered section will remain as is, with three lanes of traffic open in each direction of I-70 during peak travel times.

The future eastbound I-70 lanes are on track to open in 2022. At that time, four lanes of traffic (three general-purpose lanes and one Express Lane) will be open in each direction.

For more information on the completion of the I-70 viaduct demolition, check out this video on the Central 70 Project website.

Construction is dependent on weather and site conditions, so construction schedules are subject to change. Follow the Project on Facebook for the latest information on Central 70.

A media kit, which includes pictures before and during demolition as well as aerial videos before and after demolition, is available here.  

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges, and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options. 

Download the FREE COtrip Planner App!

The new free COtrip Planner mobile app was designed to meet the growing trend of information on mobile and tablet devices for the traveling public. The COtrip Planner app provides statewide, real-time traffic information, and works on mobile devices that operate on the iOS and Android platforms. Starting on Oct. 1, visit the Google Play Store (Android devices) or the Apple Store (iOS devices) to download!

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 57-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