Decision Process Overview

The I-70 Mountain Corridor Decision-Making Process is consistent with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Manual, CDOT 's Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Program, and the Life Cycle Phases for Project Management.

The CDOT NEPA Manual includes guidance on incorporating Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) in the NEPA process. In Section 3.3, the manual states that "CSS represents an evolution in the philosophical approach to transportation and supports the social, economic, and environmental context of the facility... It should be reflected in the way the NEPA process is implemented."

I-70 Mountain CSS is built on a commitment to collaborative decision making. The key principles of collaborative decision making are:

  • Principle-based
  • Outcome-driven
  • Multidisciplinary

To achieve a truly collaborative process, the I-70 Mountain Corridor CSS Team developed a 6-Step Process that can be used for all projects at any phase of the project life cycle. This process is based on the three principles above and uses the constructs of Decision Science to guide effective, collaborative decision making.


The Corridor Team developed the Context Statement and Core Values for the I-70 Mountain Corridor. These form the principles on which the 6-Step Process is based. These provide a touchstone for every decision that is made in the corridor to ensure its consistency with stakeholder principles.


The Life Cycle Phases and 6-Step Process provide clearly defined, repeatable decision-making steps. Early and continuous involvement of stakeholders in a fair and transparent Decision Making process is a critical component of CSS and promotes the development of recommendations with strong support. Work in each of the phases will be carried out using the 6-Step Process for decision making. Each phase has its own set of requirements and expectations, and the products developed at each phase provide inputs to the subsequent phases.


The Project Leadership Team, Technical Team, and Issue Task Forces are structured to provide multidisciplinary involvement on each project. This structure supports a more robust definition of the issues and desired outcomes and leads to recommendations with broad support by the stakeholders.


For a printable PDF of the contents on this page click here.