Projects

I-25 Central Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study

Keywords: Active Studies, Interstates

I-25 Central Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study

I-25 in the study area had the highest average daily traffic in all of Colorado (272,000 in 2015).

(Source: CDOT traffic data)

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Between fall 2017 and winter 2020, CDOT conducted a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study of I-25 between Santa Fe Drive and 20th Street. This 4.5-mile segment of I-25 is Colorado's primary urban transportation core. It is utilized for trips through the area and to regional and local connections, including downtown Denver employment, commerce, entertainment, and residences.

The study identified causes of congestion and considered options to improve safety, travel time and reliability in this highly-congested corridor. A range of improvements are being evaluated and prioritized for future project development. The study also included the evaluation of environmental impacts, coordination with federal, state, and local agencies, and public involvement.

I-25 in the study area had the highest average daily traffic in all of Colorado (272,000 in 2015).

(Source: CDOT traffic data)

Project-Limits-web-2.5.png

Between fall 2017 and winter 2020, CDOT conducted a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study of I-25 between Santa Fe Drive and 20th Street. This 4.5-mile segment of I-25 is Colorado's primary urban transportation core. It is utilized for trips through the area and to regional and local connections, including downtown Denver employment, commerce, entertainment, and residences.

The study identified causes of congestion and considered options to improve safety, travel time and reliability in this highly-congested corridor. A range of improvements are being evaluated and prioritized for future project development. The study also included the evaluation of environmental impacts, coordination with federal, state, and local agencies, and public involvement.

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"The study developed a vision for this 4.5-mile section of I25, using future traffic projections that reflect anticipated growth and possible advances in technology."

What did we accomplish?

The PEL study provided a clear understanding of the transportation problems in the corridor, a collaboratively-developed vision for the future, and potential projects to implement that vision. The study serves as an aid in the development of future projects through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and design processes. The PEL accomplished the:

    • Identification of corridor needs and a corridor vision
    • Development of alternatives to meet the needs and vision of the corridor
    • Evaluation of potential improvement projects

I-25 Central PEL Project Map

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This PEL study process was the first step in understanding critical transportation problems and needs in this portion of I-25.

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"Denver-area commuters lost 49 hours, on average, due to traffic congestion in 2014."
(Source: DenverBusiness Journal)

What did we do?Central I-25 PEL Study Timeline
The project team worked with local agency representatives and area stakeholders to identify needs and opportunities, which then informed the Purpose and Need Statement of the PEL. Using data on existing conditions and potential changes, the project team developed multiple alternatives for the study area. The project team evaluated these alternatives based on Purpose and Need, and goals and objectives. Following a public meeting in June 2019 to present the alternatives, the project team repackaged the alternatives and evaluated their impacts, both positive and negative, using models and analytics. The public input, evaluation results, and other technical data were compiled into the PEL report.

What is next?
The report will be posted online in March 2020. It lays the groundwork for subsequent projects.

The PEL Process

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"PEL is a study process which identifies transportation needs, priorities, and environmental concerns." 

This PEL study process was the first step in understanding critical transportation problems and needs for I-25 Central.

A PEL study facilitates the decision-making process by:

  • Identifying efficient and cost-effective solutions
  • Promoting environmental stewardship
  • Minimizing duplication of effort
  • Reducing delays in project implementation

PEL studies link transportation planning to both human and natural environmental issues. For federally funded projects, the PEL study provides a foundation for NEPA scoping, informing the project purpose and need, defining the important issues to be addressed in the NEPA process, providing alternative recommendations, and providing context for how the project could be advanced. PEL studies make the NEPA process more efficient since many of the alternatives and impacts are identified and evaluated prior to the in-depth NEPA study.


Integration with the Future of Transportation

The I-25 Central PEL project team worked closely with CDOT's RoadX initiative, a CDOT program specifically focused on using technology and creative solutions to solve current infrastructure problems. Learn more about RoadX.

Public Involvement

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"Understanding the perspectives and needs of stakeholders in the study area is crucial to the development of optimal and broadly-supported solutions."

CDOT engaged a broad range of stakeholders for the I-25 Central PEL Study, including local jurisdictions, regional partners, sports venues, bike and pedestrian groups, public agencies, neighborhood groups, the freight industry, and the public. A public meeting was held on June 9, 2019, and stakeholder meetings were conducted throughout 2018 and 2019. The Study priority was to use input from stakeholders to develop improvement alternatives that meet the interests of the corridor's users and neighbors. 


Open House held June 6, 2019

An Open House was held on June 6, 2019, to provide community members with information on the PEL. Materials from that meeting are available at the following links:

Open House Meeting Materials
· Meeting Summary
· Exhibits
· Handout


Stakeholder Focus Group

The Stakeholder Focus Group, or SFG, is one of the Study’s key platforms to engage with the communities along with I-25 Central corridor -- to provide community members with information on the PEL and to get information from them. The SFG consists of community members, experts, and advocates.

Input from the SFG was included in the overall project documentation and was a key consideration for decision-making by the project team. The primary responsibilities of the SFG were to provide input on the project development process, raise important community and project-related issues, and assist with the creation and analysis of project alternatives.

The SFG served as a platform for:

(1) understanding all stakeholders’ uses of the corridor

(2) providing all stakeholders the same information on the PEL study

(3) obtaining stakeholders’ feedback on the PEL study

(4) seeking to develop mutual gains and opportunities among various stakeholders.

SFG members reached out to key constituents and were a local resource for sharing planning-and-project-information with others in the community.

SFG Activities

  • June 2018 - SFG members were invited to participate
  • July 2018 - SFG Meeting 1
  • July to November 2018 -SFG members engaged with their communities
  • December 2018 - SFG Meeting 2
  • April 2019 - SFG Meeting 3
  • November 2019 - Meeting 4

SFG Meeting Documents & Materials

SFG Meeting 1 Materials

SFG Meeting 2 Materials

SFG Meeting 3 Materials

SFG Meeting 4 Materials

Download the SFG Members List

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