Funding Secured To Complete I-225/17th Place Interchange

New Exit To Provide Better Access To Medical Campus

The city of Aurora just received federal funds to finish the final phases of the Interstate 225 and Colfax Avenue/17th Place interchange that will serve the Anschutz and Fitzsimons Medical Campus.

The Denver Regional Council of Governments' Board of Directors approved the $16.3 million in funding that will allow for the completion of phases 3 and 4 of the project.

"We did a traffic study and found there are 55,000 vehicle trips per day to and from the campus. The current interchange in the area isn't designed to handle all of those people and all of those trips. We thought it was imperative to improve the access to and from the campus," said Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council.

Phase 1 of the new interchange has been completed and Phase 2 is under way. Phase 3 includes the completion of a slip ramp which will provide access to southbound I-225 from 17th Place as well as the 17th Place bridge that provides access between Fitzsimons and I-225. Phase 4 includes the portion of the 17th Place bridge that allows two-way traffic to travel over I-225 and it will create access points both to and from the bridge for northbound I-225.

The 1-square-mile campus is home to the University of Colorado Hospital, The ChildrenÂ’s Hospital, the new Veterans Administration Hospital and several other health care centers. The site is expected to grow in the next three years with several major expansions including the recently announced $400 million expansion of the University of Colorado Hospital and the $228 million expansion of The ChildrenÂ’s Hospital.

"This is the economic hope of the state of Colorado in terms of economic development. There will be more primary jobs at this one location than anywhere else in the state of Colorado. There are about 16,000 people that currently work on the campus. At build out, we're expecting about 44,000. If just look at the sheer number and the average wage it's unlike anywhere else outside of the aerospace community," said Mitchell.

The new interchange has an overall price tag of approximately $46 million and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2012.