Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A PEL is a study used to identify transportation issues and environmental concerns, which can be applied to make planning decisions and for planning analysis. The PEL study links planning to environmental issues, and results in useful information that may ultimately be used to prepare a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study and final design, and to help streamline the planning process.

The Colorado Department of Transportation—in coordination with FHWA, Commerce City, Adams County, and the City and County of Denver—conducted this study to develop and evaluate short-term and long-term transportation alternatives, and to identify proposed improvements to the transportation system within the study area. The PEL study evaluated options to:

  • Ease congestion.
  • Address safety issues.
  • Improve operational performance.
  • Identify future transportation improvements.

The study area for this project was in Commerce City, Adams County, and the City and County of Denver. The project limits included three elements:

  1. the interchange of I-270 and Vasquez Boulevard;
  2. Vasquez Boulevard from 52nd Avenue on the south to East 64th Avenue, and the intersection of US Highway 6 and Colorado Highway 2 on the north (including the intersection of State Highway 2, East 60th Avenue, and East Parkway Drive); and
  3. I-270 for approximately one-half mile to each side of the interchange with Vasquez Boulevard.

Please check the map for additional information.

The key tasks of the PEL study were to:

  • Conduct public outreach and coordination with local, state and federal resource agencies.
  • Identify existing and future issues and problem areas in the corridor from operational, mobility, maintenance and safety perspectives.
  • Identify natural resource and/or environmental agency requirements and concerns.
  • Consolidate and address jurisdiction priorities and plans.
  • Develop alternatives to address the short-term and long-term needs, and consider potential funding sources.
  • Establish cost estimates for the short- and long-term improvements to use when seeking project funding.
  • Develop next steps, an implementation plan and potential funding options.

The role of local agencies was to provide technical input and recommendations to CDOT through the technical working group (TWG). This group helped identify issues and opportunities, and provided recommendations throughout the decision-making process. The TWG shared information with and solicited input from its staff, and elected officials and constituents.

Alternatives were evaluated for consistency against agreed-upon evaluation criteria, using a tiered process. Decision-makers were inherently faced with considering tradeoffs during the alternatives-evaluation process.

The detailed alternatives-screening process determined impacts (both adverse and beneficial) of various corridor improvements. Action alternatives were compared to a "No Action" alternative. Traffic analysis considered local agency plans and refined land use projections into the year 2040. Public and agency comments were considered during the study process.

This study has developed recommendations to ease congestion, improve operational performance, address safety issues and identify future transportation improvements along the study corridor. The study has provided recommendations for future short- and long-term improvements, which may be used by agencies and CDOT to obtain funding for improvement projects.

The PEL study was completed in August 2018. This study made both short- and long-term improvement recommendations. A subsequent NEPA process will be required to implement ultimate improvements.

The timeline for improvements is dependent on funding availability. It is likely that the improvements would be constructed in phases.