By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – A big construction project will help expand Interstate 70 through central Denver and the first signs are starting to show.

motel demolition for i70 5pkg transfer frame 120 Motel Demolished Strategically For I 70 Expansion

(credit: CBS)

It started with the demolition of a motel whose sign easily seen by westbound drivers.

motel demolition for i70 5pkg transfer frame 450 Motel Demolished Strategically For I 70 Expansion

(credit: CBS)

The shed behind the old Colonial Manor Motel off of I-70 was the first to topple.

motel demolition for i70 5pkg transfer frame 0 Motel Demolished Strategically For I 70 Expansion

(credit: CBS)

“This is just another step toward construction getting started this summer so we’re really excited to get the ball rolling,” Gabi Dyer, a spokesperson for Colorado Department of Transportation, said.

motel demolition for i70 5pkg transfer frame 360 Motel Demolished Strategically For I 70 Expansion

(credit: CBS)

Eventually the entire motel will be torn down. It’s being demolished to make room for an I-70 expansion and viaduct improvement project that aims to expand the interstate and put it underground.

On Saturday, residents in the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods watched curiously as the local stalwart was torn down piece by piece.

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A neighbor watches the demolition. (credit: CBS)

The motel was 70 years old and very nice in it’s heyday. These days, it’s sign is easily it’s most recognizable feature – especially for anyone coming to Denver from the east.

“It’s been an iconic structure from I-70 for a while,” Dyer said.

CDOT is taking the brick and mortar building down, but the sign will likely live on Dyer said.

motel demolition for i70 5pkg transfer frame 1080 Motel Demolished Strategically For I 70 Expansion

(credit: CBS)

“We’re working with local museums to preserve the sign and preserve the history.”

The hotel’s sheds and outbuildings are now history – next will be the northern building and then everything else.

But, don’t expect to see any implosions or wrecking balls. This demolition will be meticulous and will take construction crews four weeks.

“They’ll just take it down piece by piece. It’s not all going to come down at one time,” Dyer said.

RELATED: I-70 Expansion Story Archive

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

Comments (2)
  1. Michael I saw your report on the demolition of the Colonial Manner Hotel. I am the grandson of Harold A. Deter that originally built and owned this hotel. It was originally called Deter’s Colonial Manner Motor Hotel. I have some photos and other docs that might be of interest.

  2. CBS4 Denver, how about asking why this old landmark was just knocked down like a tower of building blocks? There’s ASBESTOS in that old building! (Known to cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, asbestosis pulmonary lung disease, other pleural diseases, and oh yes clubbed fingers). Sending that detritus airborne into Elyria and Swansea: figures. The City & County of Denver, CDOT, FHWA, and Governor HIckenlooper have already made the decision that the health of the residents of these areas is expendable.

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