Central 70 Project reflects on 2021 and prepares for substantial completion

News Release

January 13, 2021 - Central/Eastern Colorado - Project on schedule for completion by the end of the year

DENVER — As the Colorado Department of Transportation's Central 70 Project kicks off its fourth and final year of construction, crews have worked more than 5.4 million hours to construct dozens of safety enhancements and travel reliability improvements. The Project made history in 2021 by successfully moving traffic from the aging 57-year-old viaduct into the newly paved lanes of Interstate 70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, safely demolishing the old I-70 structure and building portions of the future 4-acre park over the highway. In partnership with Project Developer, Kiewit Meridiam Partners, CDOT’s largest infrastructure project in history is over 80% complete and remains on time and within budget.

The 10-mile Central 70 Project spanning from Brighton Boulevard to Chambers Road will deliver a new express lane in both directions, 20 new bridges, wider shoulders and a 4-acre cover park over a portion of the new lowered interstate. The Project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2022, with some landscaping and other minor work taking place in early 2023.

“Crews have been moving at lightning speed over the past year to not only successfully switch traffic off the viaduct into its temporary configuration in the new lowered section but by also demolishing the viaduct within four months, a month ahead of schedule,” said CDOT Central 70 Project Director Bob Hays. “We look forward to switching traffic into its final, permanent alignment this summer and finishing the construction of the future cover park.”

Project Promises Progress as of Dec. 31, 2021
Bridges: 20 bridges will be constructed as a part of the Central 70 Project From west to east:
I-70 over Brighton Boulevard bridge - 98% complete
Union Pacific Railroad bridge - 98% complete
York Street over I-70 bridge - 70% complete
Josephine Street over I-70 bridge - 98% complete
Cover park structure* - 86% complete (*not including landscaping or other park elements)
Fillmore Street over I-70 bridge - 98% complete
Steele Street/Vasquez Boulevard bridge - 100% complete
Cook Street over I-70 bridge - 100% complete
Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad bridge - 100% complete
Monroe Street over I-70 bridge - 100% complete
Colorado Boulevard bridge - 100% complete
I-70 over Dahlia Street bridge - 100% complete
I-70 over Holly Street bridge - 100% complete
I-70 over Monaco Street bridge - 100% complete
Denver Rock Island Railroad bridge and adjacent on- and off-ramp bridges - 100% complete
I-70 over Quebec Street bridge - 100% complete
I-270 flyover over I-70 - 100% complete
I-70 over Peoria Street bridge - 100% complete
Paving: All lanes will get new pavement. To date, over 635,000 tons of asphalt has been placed.
Sidewalks: Increase accessibility throughout Project corridor. As of Nov. 2021, 37,636 linear square feet of sidewalk has been constructed. By the end of the Project, it will be possible to safely walk from York Street to Peoria Street using the newly constructed sidewalks (using the Sand Creek Greenway Trail as a slight detour, which also received some enhancements as a part of the Central 70 Project).
Ramps: Replace 36 ramps and bring them up to current safety standards. Twenty-four ramps have been replaced between Colorado Boulevard and Chambers Road.
Local workforce: The Project committed to connect local communities to economic benefits and long-term careers in construction. CDOT partnered with employment platform WORKNOW and the Project’s developer, Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP), to help residents from the 13 ZIP codes surrounding the Project find work on the Central 70 Project. WORKNOW is a local organization that increases access to resources for those looking for careers in construction. CDOT’s contract with KMP also required 200,000 training hours to be provided to employees in the skilled craft. On-the-Job Training is an official United States Department of Transportation program targeted to move women, people of color and disadvantaged individuals into journey-level positions. The Central 70 Project surpassed the OJT goal in Oct. 2020. Since the start of construction, 600 residents from communities in qualifying zip codes have contributed over 760,000 hours to the Project.
Traffic demand management: Partner with Northeast Transportation Connections to offer transportation programs and services to help residents and businesses adjacent to the Central 70 Project. These programs must focus on saving vehicle miles traveled, incentivizing carpooling and offering other modes of transportation. Since 2018:1.2 million vehicle miles traveled have been saved through community and business programs
1,853 bus passes have been distributed to qualifying residents in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea communities
$142,000 in savings to the community in monthly bus passes
261 trips in NETC community van
243 community walking events
296 community office hour sessions
Community outreach: The Project remains dedicated to working with the public and community to ensure folks remain informed and feel well supported.
Progress as of Dec. 31, 2021
Since 2018:45,300 newsletters/construction notices were hand-delivered
2,925 hours of community outreach
Over 400 hours spent volunteering
410 presentations given and/or public and community meetings attended
1 valid* noise complaint received (*valid indicates a complaint investigated and determined to be from the Project and not from other surrounding noises)
I-70 between Josephine and Clayton streets and construction of lowered section - Dec. 27, 2021

bit.ly/3rO1bHkProject Information

For additional information about the Central 70 Project:

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

  • Road conditions and travel information: COtrip.org
  • Download the COtrip Planner app: bit.ly/3DYCDOH
  • Sign up for project or travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts
  • See scheduled construction lane closures: bit.ly/3rO1bHk
  • Connect with @ColoradoDOT on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!