Study Overview

The I-70/Kipling interchange is located in the city limits of Wheat Ridge in Jefferson County.  The current interchange was constructed in 1967 with this section of I-70 as a diamond interchange with two bridge structures on I-70 over Kipling Street (SH 391) and frontage roads serving properties north and south of the freeway.  The northern terminus of SH 391 is at the North Frontage Road, immediately north of the interchange.

CDOT conducted a Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study to provide an understanding of the existing conditions of the I-70/Kipling interchange and develop a range of improvements to reduce congestion and improve operational performance and safety at the interchange.  The study evaluated the existing and future conditions of the interchange, while considering future surrounding development and community plans.

Along Kipling Street (SH 391), the physical constraints of the lanes under the I-70 bridge and adjacent frontage road signal spacing degrade the traffic operations through the interchange area.  The traffic movements on and off I-70 at Kipling Street contribute to recurring mainline freeway congestion.

The objective in pursuing this study was to work with stakeholders to analyze and develop a range of short- and long-term improvements to reduce congestion and improve operational performance and safety at the interchange.  A Technical Team, composed of staff from the local communities of Wheat Ridge, Arvada, and Jefferson County, and agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), and Regional Transportation District (RTD), provided critical technical input to CDOT throughout the study and at key milestones in the alternatives evaluation process.

Key elements of this study were to:

  • Identify the vision for the I-70/Kipling Interchange
  • Complete the study in accordance with the FHWA Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) process.  This included:
    • Public outreach
    • Direct involvement with local governments and special interest groups within the interchange area
    • Coordination with State and Federal resource agencies
    • Documentation of study process, findings, and recommendations to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standards, so information developed in this study could be appended or referenced in a final NEPA document
    • Completing the PEL documentation for FHWA concurrence
    • Identify existing and future problem areas surrounding the interchange
    • Identify issues within the interchange area of importance to each respective corridor jurisdiction
    • Establish a priority list for planned short- and long-term improvements
    • Estimate cost of improvements
    • Recommend phased interchange improvements to:
      • Optimize interchange operations
      • Reduce congestion
      • Improve safety