Wetlands and Water Resources

The I-70 Mountain Corridor extends through three major hydrologic drainage basins: Clear Creek, the Blue River, and the Eagle/Colorado Rivers. Historic practices, not solely related to I-70, have significantly degraded the quality of these streams. Mitigation will be necessary for all aquatic resources in each of these basins.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) convened the Stream and Wetland Ecological Enhancement Program (SWEEP) Committee -- an advisory committee consisting of fisheries biologists, hydrologists, various watershed and water quality-related technical experts, community representatives, and other potentially affected parties -- to improve stream and wetland conditions in the I-70 Mountain Corridor. The SWEEP Committee developed recommendations on a process to address environmental impacts anticipated to occur as a result of redevelopment of the I-70 Mountain Corridor. The SWEEP Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes agreement around water resources and forms the foundation of mitigation for aquatic resource impacts along the I-70 Mountain Corridor.

The Implementation Matrix provided in the SWEEP MOU Appendix should be used as guidance for developing recommendations at each Life Cycle Phase for corridor projects. The matrix outlines inputs, considerations, and outcomes for each project phase, consistent with the Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Decision-Making Process. The concerns addressed in the matrix include:

  • Water Quality
  • Natural Habitat
  • Information Needs

The Evaluation Guidance details how I-70 Mountain Corridor alternatives will be evaluated. The Alternative Evaluation Guidance documents how healthy environment criteria will be used to determine how well an alternative is able to avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to biological resources. Criteria are provided for use at each level of alternative analysis.

During the I-70 Mountain Corridor CSS Workshops, the stakeholders developed a list of critical issues to be considered during all future work on the corridor.