An artist's rendering of what Interstate 70 might look like with a portion of the roadway buried in North Denver.

(Courtesy CDOT)

Widening Interstate 70 in Denver would be a waste of money and wouldn’t solve traffic congestion, according to a report from the advocacy group Colorado Public Interest Research Group or CoPIRG.
The group's Danny Katz unveiled the report at the foot of the decrepit I-70 viaduct that splits North Denver. He reminded people that widening Interstate 25 was once promised as a way to relieve congestion.

"Within five years of completion, we saw congestion at pre-construction levels," Katz said.

He agrees that the viaduct needs to be fixed, but he disagrees with the state’s plan to add up to four lanes. 

Rebecca White, the spokesperson for the I-70 project, admits the state can’t build its way out of congestion. But she notes that the added lanes will be express lanes, like on Highway 36.

"So that we can handle increasing growth over the years, and always give people a choice to use those lanes," she explained.

The I-70 expansion project is open to public comment right now. Construction could begin in late 2017.