Colorado DOT To Study Air Quality Near I-270 Project—Residents Are Skeptical

The Colorado Department of Transportation has pledged to evaluate direct mitigation measures to reduce the impact of construction projects on nearby communities.

1 minute read

September 3, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Map showing I-270 Corridor Improvements Study Area

Colorado Department of Transportation / I-270 Corridor Improvements Study Area

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has installed sensors that will track air quality as a project to expand and modernize Interstate 270 gets underway. As reported by Nathaniel Minor, "[t]he sensors will provide the state with enough detailed data to answer a 'big burning question'" of how the construction will impact air quality in surrounding areas.

"Answering this question is especially critical for the southern end of Commerce City, which is adjacent to several pollution-generating highways and large industrial sites like the Suncor refinery." The data could help officials figure out ways to mitigate pollution during construction projects.

Local residents in southern Commerce City express skepticism at the city's efforts, citing years of poor air and water quality in their community. But CDOT says they are taking unprecedented direct mitigation measures that have "pushed the agency into new territory." During the controversial I-70 expansion project, for example, the agency provided "new windows and air conditioning units for more than 200 nearby homes." In this case, measures could include "walls, vegetation and increased transit service."

Meanwhile, residents like Juliet Romero remain concerned about local air quality. "Romero is hopeful CDOT will help expand public transportation in the area — the nearby RTD bus comes only every 30 minutes at peak times — and not just expand the highway."

Monday, August 30, 2021 in Colorado Public Radio

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