Denver Considers How to Heal Neighborhoods Decimated by I-70

Something will be done to help Denver's Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods recover from decades of decline brought by the construction of I-70. Will a plan to bury the interstate be replaced with an ambitious proposal to reroute the road entirely?
October 3, 2012, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Monte Whaley discusses the competing visions for how to "make way for the rebirth of a depressed part of [Denver]" that was severed by the construction of Interstate 70. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) favors a $1 billion plan to bury the highway and cap it with an 800-foot-long deck that could provide park space. 

For some activists though, CDOT's plan "is not bold enough to save the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods."

"CDOT is really good at laying concrete," said Thaddeus Tecza, a senior instructor emeritus of political science at the University of Colorado. "These guys are engineers, and their answer to everything is to put down a lane of concrete. What they are not really good at is planning for a community."

"Tecza and Frank Sullivan - a retired biology instructor at Front Range Community College - in August presented their idea for realigning I-70 around Denver using the corridor occupied by Interstates 270 and 76."

At an estimated cost of $4-$5 billion, CDOT nixed the Tecza and Sullivan plan last week. However, according to Whaley, "Tecza is undeterred, as are others who see the East I-70 corridor as a unique opportunity to revamp north Denver and maybe beyond."

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Published on Sunday, September 23, 2012 in The Denver Post
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