Case Studies - CDOT

North I-25 PEL, US 36 to CO 7, Denver Metro (December 2014)

This section of I-25 has been included in several previous transportation studies in the past decade. These studies have provided a look into regional transportation solutions with a context bigger than just the corridor. The North I-25 PEL Study considered nearer term, lower cost alternatives not fully analyzed in the previous studies. The purpose of the transportation improvements is to reduce congestion and improve safety on I-25 between US 36 and CO 7 by implementing near term, multimodal, and cost-effective transportation improvements that are compatible with long-term options and the recently constructed interchange structures at 84th Avenue, 120th Avenue, 128th Avenue, 136th Avenue, and 144th Avenue. There may be unmet mobility needs beyond the near-term horizon. To account for these needs, all near-term improvements considered were evaluated for compatibility with the potential long-term cross sections to minimize throwaway and increase cost-effectiveness.
The following are Best Practices from the North I-25 PEL Study:  
• Identified short-term improvements that were compatible with (and did not preclude) already-approved long-term improvements from the North I-25 EIS.
• Provided a consistent message that short-term solutions were inadequate to fully address transportation needs, and the long-term solution required the EIS Preferred Alternative. This message helped manage expectations about what the study could accomplish through short-term recommendations.
• Engaged FHWA in setting the study’s goals, methodology, and terminology.

For more information, access the North I-25 PEL Study project webpage

CO 7 PEL Study, US 287 to US 285 (February 2014) 

State Highway 7 (CO 7) is a critical east‐west arterial in the roadway system serving the north Denver metro area, providing a connection between the major north‐south highways of US 287, Interstate 25 (I‐25), and US 85. Each of the communities on the corridor between Lafayette and Brighton is growing rapidly, and a major activity center is planned at the interchange of I‐25/CO 7. In addition, a key station on the planned North Metro FasTracks Corridor will be located just north of CO 7 in the vicinity of Colorado Boulevard. These factors all contribute to the fact that CO 7 is expected to serve significantly greater travel demand in the future. Yet the corridor is one of much diversity, including both present and future land uses, physical characteristics of the roadway, travel characteristics, and community goals.
The purposes of the recommended transportation improvements in the CO 7 corridor are to improve safety, reduce existing and future traffic congestion, provide efficient access for existing and future development, and improve multimodal mobility and connectivity along the corridor.
The following are Best Practices from the CO 7 PEL Study:
• Studied multimodal needs and involved RTD, helping identify local agencies’ desire for additional transit. After the study, local agencies presented a transit plan to RTD based on the PEL recommendations.
• Strong stakeholder facilitation and independent discussions with local agencies established a common vision for the corridor, addressed contentious issues, and achieved consensus on recommendations.
• The study’s recommendations provided a firm plan for transportation along the CO 7 corridor, allowing local agencies to effectively guide their future development plans.

For more information, access the CO 7 PEL Study on the project webpage

US 50 West PEL Study, Swallows Road to Baltimore Avenue, Pueblo (June 2012)

The US 50 Corridor is congested during the peak hours and this congestion is expected to grow. By 2035, traffic volumes are expected to be double their current levels, and it could take as much as a half hour to travel this 12-mile Corridor during peak hours. (Speed limits on US 50 range from 45 miles per hour [mph] to 65 mph, and it takes about 15 minutes to travel the Corridor in light traffic.) The Corridor also has above-average crash rates concentrated around intersections that are related to differences in speed between vehicles.
To address these needs, the following elements make up the Purpose and Need statement:
  • Improve the safety of the Corridor.
  • Increase the mobility and relieve traffic congestion on US 50.
  • Minimize detrimental Level of Service (LOS) impacts on the surrounding network when
  • improving US 50.
  • Accommodate multimodal connectivity (including local bicycle and pedestrian facilities).
  • Maintain reasonable access to future growth.
The following are Best Practices from the US 50 West PEL Study:
• Comprehensively evaluated and screened alternatives and reached consensus with Local Agency partners on a recommended plan and alternative for the corridor.
• Created a robust travel demand model to examine alternative route capacity and conduct level of service failure analysis for different highway sections, helping prioritize improvements.
• Identified initial improvements that would have independent utility and fit within immediately available funding (as of August 2018, two projects have completed template EA NEPA documents and a third project will be a documented CatEx).
• Established strong purpose and need, robust transportation modeling and analysis, environmental studies, and thorough alternatives screening during the PEL study that allowed future NEPA processes to move quickly into environmental surveys, impact analysis, and mitigation decisions.
• Established a Memorandum of Agreement to enhance inter-agency coordination.

For more information, see the US 50 West PEL Study on the CDOT library page.