DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation announced Thursday they have reached a settlement agreement in a July 2017 lawsuit filed by residents and developers in an attempt to stop the I-70 expansion project already underway.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued that health and environmental impacts were not fully analyzed and were too narrow. The lawsuit said the review was flawed and should have included the I-70 expansion and Platte to Park Hill stormwater project together.
The settlement agreement will provide benefits to the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea communities impacted by the Central 70 Project. Those benefits include a community health study, air monitoring, landscaping, and community outreach.
As part of the agreement, CDOT will contribute $550,000 for a health study that will provide a greater understanding of public health outcomes in those neighborhoods. The health study will be conducted by an independent expert and will be overseen by the plaintiffs, state and local public health agencies, and another independent expert, according to a press release.
This settlement resolves the last remaining legal challenge to CDOT’s Central 70 Project.
The $1.17 billion project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 54-year old viaduct, lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, and place a 4-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate. Construction began this summer.