Denver, CO

E-470 begins second phase of widening project, targets section closest to DIA

Heather Willard

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Sept. 21, 2022

(Aurora, Colo.) An 11-mile stretch of toll-road E-470 near Denver International Airport will be under construction for the next three years, beginning this week.

The E-470 Public Highway Authority said it must build more capacity to stay ahead of expected population growth in the region.

Since 2016, the authority has been working to build more capacity on its 47-mile roadway and also added over 12.5 miles to the High Plains Trail, a multi-purpose recreational trail that follows the highway.

The highway authority is adding a third travel lane in each direction from I-70 to 104th Avenue and extending the traill. Crews will work in phases, beginning at the southern end of E-470 from I-70 to north of Pena Boulevard. It is expected to be complete by 2025 and will cost an estimated $350 million, to be paid from already collected toll revenue.

The project will also include new interchanges at 38th and 48th Avenues, in addition to expanding the existing interchange at 64th Avenue and widening the local bridge over E-470.

At the northbound interchange with Pena Boulevard, crews will build a collector road similar to the one built on the southbound Pena Boulevard interchange.

Crews will also construct a four-mile extension of the High Plains Trail. A new concrete path will be built from 26th to 64th Avenues to connect other trails in the region for cyclists and pedestrians.

The goal is to eventually connect the High Plains Trail to Pena Boulevard and continue extending it further north. The extension will include traffic signals with pedestrian countdowns at 38th, 56th, and 64th Avenues.

Crews also will replace deer fencing and repave the highway.

In 2021, the E-470 Public Highway Authority finished the first phase of the widening project. Crews added a third travel lane in each direction from Quincy Avenue to I-70 and extended the High Plains Trail by six miles. The project spanned over two years for a total cost of $94.4 million, which was under the estimated budget.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

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