Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other officials joined the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for a groundbreaking ceremony, marking the beginning of the Central 70 Project, the largest transportation project in Colorado history, KDVR reports.
The $1.2 billion project to rebuild Interstate 70 on the east side of Denver is expected to take four years to complete.
The plan is to widen a 10-mile section of I-70 between Brighton Blvd. and Chambers Rd. and add a toll lane, with most of the new road being below ground, which will allow the construction of a park over the highway.
During construction, all traffic will be diverted to an open-air trench that will be built alongside the viaduct. “One of the requirements they put on the contractor is they have to keep the interstate running,” says CDOT spokeswoman Rebecca White, according to the news agency. “The only lane closures can happen in the evening. Over the four-year construction period, there are a handful of times they can fully shut down the interstate, and that’s when they have to do demolition. Once the contractor has the first part of the lower interstate done, we are going to take all the traffic from up there on the viaduct to down below, and then the viaduct can come down safely because there is no active traffic on it.”