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CDOT Gets Earful Over I-70 Widening Project In North Denver

DENVER (CBS4) - There's been backlash against a plan to widen a stretch of Interstate 70 in North Denver and bury part of the highway.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is considering running the interstate beneath Brighton Boulevard nearly all the way to Colorado Boulevard. People living in the area say that could ruin their neighborhoods.

For the third time CDOT officials have attended a community meeting where the transit agency has been slammed over their plan to take a dilapidated section of road and put something new in its place.

Homeowners at the meeting heard how the redevelopment of I-70 would change their neighborhood. Armando Payan says CDOT's plan will cut the community off from the city.

"We just want a fair representation of all the alternatives and let the residents speak for themselves," Payan said.

Dozens of businesses and homes adjacent to the interstate would disappear under the plan. Payan wants an alternative route that joins I-70 to existing roadways and makes the current highway a residential road.

"Rerouting the highway out to the other corridors to me in my mind is more feasible and more practical because you get the traffic out of the city and out to the corridors – there's more economic growth that can happen for Adams County as well as the (fringe) of Denver," Payan said.

CDOT looked into that plan in 2004 and 2008 and eliminated it both times. The say the longer route would cost nearly $4 billion -- double the cost of lowering the current roadway. Protests and community meetings are unlikely to change CDOT's mind.

"Right now we believe that we have the support moving forward on the partial covered lid alternative, and that's something we hope to take to conclusion at the end of the year," Amy Frod with CDOT said.

CDOT says the route around the city was part of the same environmental impact study as the plan they chose. The agency plans to begin construction in 2016.

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