Federal transportation officials have signaled that they will initiate an investigation in response to a civil rights complaint filed by Denver community groups that oppose the state’s controversial $1.2 billion expansion of Interstate 70.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and an attorney for Earthjustice, an environmental law firm that filed the complaint, both confirmed Tuesday that they have been notified of the filing’s acceptance by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.
The notification included plans to initiate an investigation. An investigator may visit Denver next week to begin interviews and site visits, said Heidi McIntosh, the Earthjustice attorney.
Federal officials’ decision to investigate the complaint, which is based on the project’s effects on a majority-Latino part of Denver, was expected. The federal transportation agency’s rules require it to accept and investigate a civil rights complaint related to a federally funded project if the request meets certain criteria.
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