DENVER (CBS4) – Residents toured a stretch of the Central 70 Project in Denver over the weekend and walked on the pavement that will soon be covered with cars traveling east and west on Interstate 70. It was a one-day exhibition on Saturday that featured stations along the roadway with information and history on the project, and visitors could also listen to an audio guide while walking along more than half of a mile of the new portion of I-70.

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“It’s been wonderful. I’m glad they are doing this, because you look at the bridge … and you can tell we need something done to it,” said David Hocker. “Pieces are falling off, you can see the cracks, you know, and all the noise you know? It’s horrible.”

There were 25 stations along the lowered section of the interstate between Brighton Boulevard and Clayton Street covering the history of Colorado transportation as well as the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. Those who have lived near the project have dealt with traffic closures and reroutes as well as noise concerns.

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Most who toured the site were from outside the surrounding blocks and across the Denver metro area.

“We’ve heard about of this for many, many years, and need to do something and now to actually see progress,” said Gunar Neumann “Things are going in the right direction, and that will reunite these neighborhoods as well so that’s definitely a step forward. ”

Visitors commented on the contrast between the viaduct, which has shaped that portion of I-70 for nearly six decades and split up neighborhoods, and the new lowered portion of the interstate featuring a tunnel. People touring the site were impressed with all the modern features to adjust to the weather and keep drivers safe while traveling on that roadway.

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“I think it’s wonderful that they have done this for the community so there is a buy-in for the community, this is progress,” said Charlie Neumann.

The Mile High Shift, as CDOT is calling it, will take place in late May when they close a portion of I-70 to start shifting traffic to the new lower section that people toured on Saturday. After the shift, the demolition of the viaduct will begin.

“It will be fabulous, you know, yeah, no more headaches and everything you know, and people just got to get used to it,” said Hocker.

Shawn Chitnis