C-470 expansion project gets $109M in federal loan money

Posted at 1:00 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 17:27:17-04

DENVER – The project that will widen C-470 and add express lanes on the highway between I-25 and Wadsworth Boulevard has been approved for $109 million in federal money.

Construction on the C-470 expansion got underway last fall in Douglas County. The project is aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in one of Denver’s highest-trafficked areas.

It will add one express toll lane in both the eastbound and southbound lanes from I-25 to Kipling, another toll express lane on the westbound side from I-25 to Lucent, and another on the eastbound side from Broadway to I-25.

Altogether, the additional lanes will double the width of the highway in some places.

CDOT has estimated that the 100,000 drivers who currently use the 12.6-mile stretch between I-25 and Wadsworth will increase to close to 150,000 drivers by 2035.

It says it expects the additional express lanes to cut travel times by about 18 minutes during peak evening commute hours.

In November, CDOT had already identified $110 million in state and federal funding for the project, and said loans that will be repaid by toll revenues generated by the new lanes would supplement the rest of the construction.

Sen. Cory Gardner touted his work on the loan that will give the project the addition $109 million, which came via the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act – something Gardner and other members of Congress fought to keep intact in 2015.

“This is great news for Colorado,” the Republican senator said. “Our region is in significant need of repairs and new investments to our roads, and this funding is exactly why I fought back at attempts to cut the TIFIA program two years ago.”

"Thanks to the efforts of Senator Gardner and others in the Congressional Delegation, we understand the Committee on Credit and Finance met this week and we are looking forward to a positive outcome to finance this deserving project, " said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director. "The C-470 Express Lanes project is part of CDOT's vision to improve mobility and reduce congestion in this critical corridor."

CDOT says it expects the project to be completed by Spring 2019. The project had faced some opposition, including a lawsuit, ahead of construction.

CDOT saw quite the increase in usage of its express toll lanes last year.

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