Engineering and Aesthetic Design

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The following overarching principles apply to the entire I-70 Mountain Corridor. These principles are supported by the Aesthetic Guidance, which is divided into Design Segments and which presents specific objectives and strategies. The principles are provided to the future managers and designers of transportation facilities within the corridor to guide the desired outcomes of individual projects.

Corridor Design Character
Elegantly engineered transportation facilities will reflect function, simplicity, and integrated design throughout the corridor. The landscape under, adjacent to, and beyond the structures supporting transportation facilities shall be rugged, organic, and made of natural materials. Designers will not attempt to make facilities appear falsely natural with the application of materials. The linkage of land and transportation features will be visualized as a single design effort, rendering a cohesive quality to the entire corridor. The geometry of the road should maintain a continuous flow and fit existing land forms.

Integrated and Complete Design
All facilities included in a project -- whether primary or auxiliary to the function of the corridor -- will be identified, programmed, and conceptually designed prior to completion of 30% design. This will include consideration of the entire construction disturbance zone. A comprehensive design is necessary in order to plan for all construction disturbances and create an integrated, sustainable corridor that accounts for each project. Aesthetic objectives and functionality are optimized when all elements are included in the design at inception. Integrated design includes considerations such as drainage and hydrology, water quality, wildlife crossings, rock cuts, life cycle costs, and long-term maintenance.

Partnerships to Create the Corridor
Corridor design will include consideration of a buffer and transition area between transportation facilities and community-oriented land uses. The landscape planting, earthwork, structural solutions, and location of the transportation facilities need to be fully examined in order to avoid potential visual and scenic impacts, buffer highway noise, and preserve community character and patterns. Road and trail connections and multi-modal travel corridor opportunities should be considered. Reinforcement of alternative methods of travel such as pedestrian and biking paths should be incorporated and coordinated with community and recreational planning efforts.

Using the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)
The I-70 Mountain Corridor PEIS contains critical background and reference information foundational to design. The PEIS should be reviewed throughout the entire design process for insight into the detailed assessments of various corridor aspects. This will ensure alignment and consistency with the analyses and recommendations determined by the PEIS.

Corridor-Wide Projects
Projects that will be implemented across the entire corridor have the potential to create elegant consistency. These projects should be approached with an additional level of care and scrutiny, and should address the ideas set forth in the Aesthetic Guidance for all four corridor Design Segments. The goal should be a project that yields an overall aesthetic benefit to the corridor.

Further detailed engineering criteria and aesthetic design guidance are provided in addition to the overarching principles for the I-70 Mountain Corridor. These include:

  • Design Criteria for Engineering the I-70 Mountain Corridor – The required Design Criteria address the unique characteristics of the I-70 Mountain Corridor and are intended to increase the safety and sustainability of the transportation facilities.
  • Aesthetic Guidance for the I-70 Mountain Corridor – The Aesthetic Guidance includes overarching objectives and specific strategies for the four Design Segments that make up the corridor: the Western Slope Canyons and Valleys, the Crest of the Rockies, the Mountain Mineral Belt, and the Front Range Foothills.
  • Areas of Special Attention on the I-70 Mountain Corridor – Areas of Special Attention are designated areas that warrant special attention due to their unique issues, complex situations, and multiple stakeholders.