Colorado wants to expand an already hated highway in an impoverished Denver neighborhood. The neighbors are fighting back. (Photos by David Kidd) View Article
Residents worry about the environmental impacts of a plan to expand Interstate 70 in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. (Photos by David Kidd)
As many as 200,000 vehicles a day pass over this Stop-N-Shop, one of the few places to buy food in the area.
Judy and Vince Sanchez may lose their convenience store when the highway is replaced. They opened the store 35 years ago and are not looking forward to starting over.
Constructed in 1964, the existing viaduct is only expected to last another 10 years before it needs to be replaced.
The highway is showing its age.
Candi CdeBaca lives in the house once owned by her grandmother. She is now fighting the interstate expansion.
Elyria-Swansea is one of the few affordable places left near the center of booming Denver.
Ninety-four-year-old Betty Cram worries that the I-70 expansion will destroy the heritage of her community.
Plans call for the local elementary school to lose part of its playground, which will be replaced with a four-acre city park over the highway.
Tom Anthony was an early promoter of putting part of I-70 underground but is disappointed with the result: “You get to the end of this 16-year planning process and you still have a dysfunctional plan.”
After 50 years of having the interstate in its current location, some 1,200 businesses rely on it for their operations.
Emily and Graham Alexander-Thomson: “We’re looking forward to having that thoroughfare not being such a bottleneck.”
Kristin Cardenas has worked with the state and developers to improve the neighborhood. “I am not for the Central 70 project,” she says, “but I am 100 percent committed to making sure that it is a community-based project.”
Neighborhood activists have fought the I-70 expansion for 16 years, but they’re running out of options. Colorado is moving forward with the project.