ROADS/BRIDGES: New transportation coalition plans to move forward with Denver-area highway projects

The WestConnect Corridor Coalition is moving forward with a long-anticipated western beltway project

April 06, 2015

The WestConnect Corridor Coalition, a newly formed transportation coalition, plans to move forward with several Denver-area highway projects.

The purpose of coalition is to develop a comprehensive and coordinated plan that will be used to inform Jefferson County, Colo. residents about the benefits of certain roadway projects.

One major area of focus for the coalition is completing a long-discussed western beltway, estimated to cost $900 million.

According to the group’s mission, the coalition's WestConnect Study will "seek transportation solutions" for the western beltway, with the hope of tying together several highway projects into a "coordinated plan.”

However, it remains unclear whether or not the group will be able to reach a consensus about completing the 470 highway loop in the northwest quadrant of Jefferson County. The project would involve uniting E-470, with its northern link at Interstate 25, to C-470, where it connects with Interstate 70.

Plans to complete the 470 loop are being held up in federal appeals court, awaiting a ruling about a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land swap.

"This beltway has been studied for about 20 years," said Emily Wilfong, a Colorodo Department of Transportation (CDOT) spokeswoman. "There's lots of history here, lots of differing opinion on what to do."