Santa Fe Drive Planning & Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study | C-470 to I-25

About the Project

The Santa Fe Drive Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study will identify future transportation and safety improvements for an 11-mile stretch of Santa Fe Drive (U.S. Highway 85) between Central 470 (C-470) and the junction of Alameda Drive and Interstate 25 (I-25).

Santa Fe is a north-south principal arterial highway owned and operated by CDOT. It is a regional facility and is included in long-term planning services provided by Denver Region Council of Governments (DRCOG) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD).

Santa Fe is located in three counties and four municipalities which are all funding partners in the PEL study:

  • Arapahoe County
  • City and County of Denver
  • Douglas County
  • City of Englewood
  • City of Littleton
  • City of Sheridan
Santa Fe PEL study project map

Project Schedule

The study is expected to take approximately 18 months and will result in a final report documenting the process and identifying the short-term and long-term recommendations.

Santa Fe Ave PEL Project Schedule

View the full Santa Fe PEL project schedule.

Currently Santa Fe has high annual average daily traffic (AADT), and drivers along the corridor experience frequent congestion and costly travel delays. As the population of the southwest metro area grows in the future, a vision and plan for future transportation improvements on Santa Fe is needed. This PEL study will examine design alternatives that will address overall congestion, traffic operations, multimodal capacity, and safety. Root causes of congestion will be identified through the analysis of current and projected traffic volumes in relation to the current deficiencies on Santa Fe. These deficiencies include structural bottlenecks, substandard roadway design, and system capacity.

The PEL study will develop long-term (20 or more years) and short-term (two-10 years) recommended alternatives that create a vision for the needed improvements on Santa Fe. The long-term alternatives will be major improvements, while the short-term alternatives are projects that can quickly and cost effectively address existing problems. The PEL study will include development and evaluation of alternatives based on a consideration of:

  • Traffic congestion
  • Roadway geometry
  • Travel time reliability
  • Local access
  • Bicycle and pedestrian facilities
  • Access to transit
  • Planning and environmental factors
  • Impacts and benefits for the adjacent communities
  • Public and agency input.

The PEL process links transportation planning to both human and natural environmental issues. This link is accomplished by adhering to the following process. First, the PEL study will identify important environmental constraints along the corridor. These constraints will help the project identify a purpose and need for the corridor. A range of design alternatives will be developed to address the purpose and need. Through public outreach and a screening process, the design alternatives will be whittled down to the final recommended alternatives. Finally, the PEL process will identify possible funding mechanisms to advance selected design alternatives into a construction project.

The PEL process is an important tool that can speed up future project delivery along the corridor by making the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process more streamlined and efficient. Per law any federal funds used to improve the Santa Fe corridor will have to go through an in-depth NEPA study. The PEL process will identify these future improvements and also streamline the delivery of the improvements so construction can start sooner.

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