DENVER (CBS4)- The Federal Highway Administration has approved the Interstate 70 expansion project in the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods in northeast Denver.
CDOT says it's the final approval needed in the $1.2 billion proposal to remove the existing I-70 viaduct between Colorado and Brighton Boulevards, lower the highway approximately 30 feet below grade, and add toll lanes.
The I-70 expansion projects have been the subject of community-wide controversy in which some people claim CDOT's plan would destroy the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods.
"Improving I-70 will improve the quality of life for thousands in the Denver area, and improve public safety for hundreds of thousands each day," said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau in a statement. "This project will make travel safer and more efficient in one of the Rocky Mountain region's busiest areas, setting the stage for years' of economic growth."
"For the first time since I-70 was opened to travelers in 1964, we are ready to deliver long- overdue safety and mobility improvements that will strengthen this economic lifeline for the region and the state," said CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt in a statement. "The Central 70 Project also redefines the role of I-70 in local communities, which were originally divided by the interstate 50 years ago."
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