DENVER (CBS4)– The Federal Highway Administration has approved the Interstate 70 expansion project in the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods in northeast Denver.
CDOT says it’s the final approval needed in the $1.2 billion proposal to remove the existing I-70 viaduct between Colorado and Brighton Boulevards, lower the highway approximately 30 feet below grade, and add toll lanes.READ MORE: A Look At Saint Francis Warren Residences, One Of Denver's Taxpayer-Funded Spots To Help People Transition Off The Streets
The I-70 expansion projects have been the subject of community-wide controversy in which some people claim CDOT’s plan would destroy the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods.READ MORE: Evans Drive-By Shooting: 15-Year-Old Shot In Face, Suspect Vehicle Description Released
“Improving I-70 will improve the quality of life for thousands in the Denver area, and improve public safety for hundreds of thousands each day,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau in a statement. “This project will make travel safer and more efficient in one of the Rocky Mountain region’s busiest areas, setting the stage for years’ of economic growth.”MORE NEWS: Family Tries To Move Forward After Double Fatal I-70 Crash That Killed Colorado Teen Heading To Pawnee Ceremonial Dance
“For the first time since I-70 was opened to travelers in 1964, we are ready to deliver long- overdue safety and mobility improvements that will strengthen this economic lifeline for the region and the state,” said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt in a statement. “The Central 70 Project also redefines the role of I-70 in local communities, which were originally divided by the interstate 50 years ago.”