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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock's so-called "Corridor of Opportunity" along I-70, extending from north of downtown east to DIA is regarded as prime property for development. Simultaneously, the Colorado Departement of Transportation (CDOT) contemplates alternatives for repairing and/or rerouting the east-west highway I-70, which bisects a number of north Denver neighborhoods. Because I-70 lies in a flood plain, CDOT's chosen option to lower a portion of the highway between Colorado and Brighton Boulevards 40 feet in a partial tunnel, below the water table would require 100-year flood protection along the I-70 corridor, the same protection required by the developments north of I-70, including the Stock Show and RTD line.
Acting mostly below the radar, without informing the majority of neighbors in the communities where these projects lie, CDOT and the City of Denver created a plan for a 2-1/2 mile drainage sump across Northeast Denver neighbohoods parallel to and just south of I-70 for the purpose of draining 100-year floodwaters toward the So. Platte River, in order to protect the I-70 Corridor. Nevertheless, responsibility for flood protection should lie with developers whose projects are being protected. The city falsely asserted these projects were designed to protect from flooding communities further to the south. The city and CDOT have long denied the connection between the I-70 and storm drainage projects, though belatedly, in 2016 they admitted the congruence of the two projects. Furthermore, the City's plan increased wastewater fees over $380 million over a period of 5 years, requiring the residents of all of Denver to pay for the stormwater drainage system. The plan between CDOT and the City of Denver was affirmed in an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) signed by the lame-duck City Council in July 2015 on short notice.
Complicating these projects is the fact that all lie within the Vasquez/I-70 Priority Superfund Site, which is largely unremediated. Digging in this area and transporting dirt containing Cadmium, Lead, Zinc and other contaminants, places many in Denver at risk.