DENVER – A couple hundred homeowners living within a block of what will soon be the massive Central 70 construction project could be getting help from Denver and the state Department of Transportation to renovate their homes and stave off poor air quality that might come with years of nearby construction.
Denver is offering up more than $1.3 million to supplement the home improvements in Elyria-Swansea, which 268 property owners could see. The money comes in addition to $2.3 million from CDOT meant for the renovations.
The 268 properties all sit within one block of the I-70 viaduct that stretches from Brighton Boulevard to Colorado Boulevard—the stretch of I-70 that will see the most construction once the project gets underway next year.
No money will exchange hands, according to the city and CDOT, though the agreement still has yet to be finalized. A city council committee advanced contracts that could finalize the proposal on Wednesday.
CDOT had already promised to offer to the homeowners new windows, air conditioners, insulation and power credits, but the extra money Denver might add to the pool would put city assessors at the properties to see if the homes need extra doors, heating/cooling systems, or HVAC air filtration systems.
Homeowners would be eligible for improvements worth up to $10,000 each, but the improvements must be aimed at improving the homes, noise mitigation or energy efficiency.
CDOT says it will be going door-to-door in coming days and sending out information fliers to the homeowners. It said that the assessments will start soon, and that the goal is to finish all the improvements and repairs before construction gets underway next spring.
The assessments will be conducted by Energy Outreach Colorado, according to CDOT.
“We want to make this as easy as we can on homeowners. We know it will be an intrusion to be in their homes,” said CDOT’s Rebecca White.
Alex Locker will be among the homeowners eligible for the improvements, and says they are welcome.
“The air quality is a concern,” she told Denver7. “New windows would be great. A/C—I don’t really have A/C in here.”
She also said that she’ll only believe the improvements are happening once they get underway.
“I don’t even know if it’s going to happen, but if it did, it would be awesome for them to compensate people that live around here,” Locker said.
Kiewit Meridiam Partners was awarded the contract for the Central 70 project last month, but a handful of lawsuits still pending in federal court might end up pushing construction back—though CDOT says it expects the schedule to continue as planned despite the suits.