Over the past two years I have gone and photographed some of the final changes along the Interstate 70 viaduct changes. With the construction work mostly complete, I made one final visit to this stretch of Interstate.
If you have driven through the Denver Metro area along Interstate 70 over the years the I-70 viaduct was most likely part of your drive. The nearly two mile elevated stretch of Interstate from Brighton Blvd to Colorado Blvd existed for over 50 years, however with the Central 70 Project putting I-70 below grade the viaduct was not longer required. Then and Now looks at this infrastructure over the past few months as the traffic shifted from above to below grade and the demolition of viaduct took place.
As the initial part of the Central 70 Project took shape, it was still possible to drive under the viaduct on 46th Avenue.
and under the viaduct looking up are the architectural elements which we have noticed over the years.
However not far away the lowering of the Interstate was taking place.
Just prior to the switch of the traffic from the viaduct, CDOT held an open house for people in the community could walk along the new Interstate 70 and learn more about the project.
May 2021 – Viaduct
In mid-May 2021 the traffic shifted to this portion of the Interstate and the demolition of the viaduct started.
June 2021 – Viaduct
The initial demolition is well on the way at the west end of the structure.
August 2021 – Viaduct
By mid-August the majority of the viaduct has been removed. The final portions by the Purina plant and well as a small portion along the east end is all that remains.
September 2021 – Viaduct
Over Labor Day weekend, the steam engine Big Boy 4014 stopped in Denver on the Union Pacific Steam Tower. As it prepared to back into the yard it cab be seen over the interstate with the progress of the Interstate 70 viaduct teardown.
In February 2023 I went to look at the Interstate 70 viaduct changes which have been made through the Elyria, Swansea, and Globeville neighborhoods.
The completed flow of the Interstate is complete. The new toll lanes can be seen closest to the middle of the road in these two images. Besides the change from a viaduct to below grade the covering of a portion of the highway can be seen in the second image. This was transformed to give me open space to the neighborhood and try to reconnect the community.
Businesses which can be seen in earlier pictures under the shadow of Interstate 70 may still have the noise of the traffic but the shadow and potential for falling materials have been removed.
The top of the extended bridge of the Interstate 70 viaduct project now has open space for the community. This includes a lawn with a pavilion for events, as well as a multi-purpose field which is lined for soccer. The location of this area is next to a school. While walking along the project area it was quite noticeable the difference in noise from this area to those which are still open.
The Interstate 70 viaduct project has been a significant change in this neighborhood, and while it is still divided by Interstate 70 it may help in some aspects to connect it more than it was in the past.