The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is pushing to expand Interstate 70 in north Denver.  The expansion is intended to facilitate cross-national trucking by creating additional lanes through a high-traffic portion of the interstate.  The detour plan that CDOT favors would add two miles to the length of I-70 through Denver and gut the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods, demolishing dozens of homes and “acquiring” over 300 acres of urban land.

We intend to stop them.

10 Reasons to oppose I-70 Expansion

  1. Environmental Racism – More than 90% of the people in Elyria/Swansea neighborhoods are people of color and about 30% are low-income by federal standards.
  2. Pollution – I-70 expansion would multiply the long-term impact of noise and air pollution in the I-70 pollution corridor.  Emissions of some air pollutants are expected to increase by 50% in the next 20 years if I-70 is expanded.
  3. Displacement – The I-70 detour plan would demolish 18 to 53 homes in Elyria/Swansea, which have above-average rates of multiple families in single-family units.   The post office would be destroyed, and the nearest one is 2-3 miles away.
  4. Job Loss – The I-70 detour would displace 52-58 businesses.  The National Western Stock Show, which hires many local residents for temporary labor, would be moved.  Other neighborhood employers would also be displaced.
  5. Food Access – One of the two grocery stores in the neighborhood would be demolished.  North Denver is already severely underserved by grocers.  Loss of green space reduces available space for community gardens and other food solutions.
  6. Recreation – The I-70 detour would place a vehicle bypass near Elyria Park, increasing noise and air pollution in the park.  Safe access to the park would be threatened by increased traffic along a road that borders the park.
  7. Hazardous Waste – Construction of the detour would disturb over 100 acres of hazardous materials sites where arsenic, lead, and cadmium are stored.  Increased trucking on I-70 would bring greater amounts of toxins through the area, increasing the risk of accidents and spills.
  8. Land Use – The detour requires over 300 acres of urban land acquisition.  Communities should have determination of land use which affects them, not politicians.
  9. Wildlife – The detour would destroy 220 acres of resident mule deer area, 205 acres of white tail deer range, 50 acres of bald eagle winter range, and 21 acres of prairie dog habitat.
  10. Cost – Expansion would cost over $8 billion, plus $7 to 10 million yearly in additional maintenance costs.  Funds should be directed towards meeting the needs of people, not trans-national trucking corporations.

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