Questioning Denver’s I-70 Highway Widening
Monte Whaley reports for the Denver Post about the political status of a grandiose proposal to widen Interstate 70 in Denver. The plan would spend $1.8 billion to widen the freeway to ten lanes, but has also been presented as neighborhood revitalization project. The expansion includes plans to tear down a 60-year-old viaduct that bisects the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, sending the highway under a cap park that would reconnect the area.
"It makes no sense to me and is not good public policy to build a 10-lane freeway when it likely will never be needed, may in point of fact be obsolete sooner than later, is destructive to neighborhoods, and a wasteful expenditure of taxpayer dollars," says Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher of the plan, in a strongly worded response to a proclamation under consideration by the Denver City Council, which would back the project.
Gallagher’s opposition, according to Whaley’s article, is only for the widening, because of country's well-documented trend away from driving. Gallagher, however, supports running Interstate 70 below grade.