DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation said crews have made progress on the Central 70 Project in 2019. CDOT broke ground on the project in Aug. 2018 and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
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The Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road. It will also add a new Express Lane in each direction of I-70, remove the aging viaduct and place a four-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards. CDOT officials said crews worked more than 1.23 million manhours on the transportation project, which is the largest in the state.
In 2019, crews made progress in the East segment, between Quebec Street and Chambers Road. The I-270 flyover was demolished and rebuilt during two full weekend closures of I-70 between I-270 and Colorado Boulevard. The I-70 bridge over Peoria was also completed and another 16 bridges are currently under construction including the Clayton and Columbine streets bridges.
Crews have excavated nearly 370,000 cubic yards of dirt in the lowered section of the project. The dirt will be used on different sections of the Central 70 Project or surrounding CDOT projects, according to officials.
In 2020, CDOT hopes to complete the Eastern segment of the project between Quebec and Chambers road along with multiple bridges along the corridor. Crews also plan to open the first section of 46th Avenue north of I-70.
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CDOT’s Director of the Central 70 Project, Keith Stefanik, gave CBS4 a tour of the construction in November.
“My personal hope is that we maintain our current production rates, we get some good Winter weather and we really take the next big chunk of construction off this project,” said Stefanik.
CDOT made a commitment to hire and train employees from surrounding zip codes the project. Approximately 16-percent of the project’s workforce are local residents. Those interested in working in construction took part in more than 67,000 hours of on-the-job training.
Residents who have questions or concerns about the project can visit CDOT’s Community Office Hours, which are listed on a calendar on the Central 70 Project website. The Project team has also dedicated 355 hours to volunteer work in and around the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea communities.
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CDOT is also promoting carpooling and public transit through a partnership between the Central 70 Project and Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC). Income qualified employees who commute to businesses along the Central 70 Project are eligible for a free monthly local-fare transit pass. Businesses within a 10-minute walk of a transit station may be qualified for matching funds to offset the costs of RTD’s EcoPass. There are also financial incentives to help start carpools and vanpools. Through this partnership over 450,000 vehicle miles were saved through community and business programs in 2019 and more than 540 monthly bus passes were distributed.