East and westbound Interstate 70 in Denver between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards will be closed starting Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 at 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. the next morning.
Colorado Department of Transportation says crews will be load testing the 54-year-old viaduct to prepare for construction in the area.
The $1.2 billion Central 70 Project will reconstruct a 10 mile stretch of I-70, add one new Express Lane in each direction and demolish the aging viaduct to lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado.
Cross streets under the interstate will remain open.
The following will also be closed:
- Westbound Brighton Boulevard off-ramp
- Eastbound Brighton Boulevard on-ramp
- Eastbound York Street off-ramp
- Eastbound and westbound Steele/Vasquez on-and-off-ramp
- Northbound Colorado Boulevard to westbound I-70 on-ramp
- 46th Avenue closed from Steele Street and west of Colorado Boulevard
CDOT says eastbound I-70 traffic will detour to northbound I-25 to westbound I-76 then to southbound I-270 to reconnect with I-70. Westbound I-70 traffic will detour to northbound I-270 to eastbound I-76 to southbound I-25 to reconnect with westbound I-70.
The Central 70 Project has been in the works for more than fifteen years and has had its share of controversy.
The viaduct runs over several historic north Denver neighborhoods that are mostly Latino and among the most polluted in the nation. Ironically, the detour for this closure follows the proposed path that residents wanted the highway to realign to.
Community groups argued the project would disproportionately impact Latino residents. CDOT officials said the project has been designed to lessen the impact on drivers and nearby neighborhoods. CDOT settled the lawsuit against the project in December.
The plaintiffs alleged that CDOT didn't thoroughly study the potential pollution impacts on the neighboring communities.
The settlement includes $550,000 for a comprehensive and independent health study for the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods. Additional money will go toward planting trees and vines along the highway and ongoing best practices.
CPR's Nathaniel Minor contributed to this report.