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Will CDOT’s expansion work during severe weather?

This image depicts a cross-section of CDOT’s planned highway expansion, which could lead to disastrous results as described below.

The March 1, 2014 instantaneous 103-vehicle wreckage and death in the I-25/T-Rex depression below Washington Street was shocking. The Denver Post described a situation that eventually will happen innumerable times along CDOT’s proposed I-70 1.75 mile “cut and kill trench.”

Here are more extremes:

    • Identical 330′ paving width basic layout 0.8 miles long at I-25.
    • Two rail lines modified into driving lanes creates the same subterranean profile I-70 is deeper with an 800′ underpass cover. I-25 gravity drains, but I-70 falls to one 40′ deep tunnel.
    • I-25 diagonals sunrays and I-70 perpendiculars, so its maximum 56′ tall snow shadow footprint modifies microclimates six months yearly
    • The I-70 Venturi Effect becomes severe, matching high velocity west winds with old Stapleton tunnel conditions, including required 5% gradients
    • Rush hour drivers face staccato direct/indirect instant light blindness under bridges and covers
    • Wind chills coupled with typical Denver 140 annual freeze/thaws exacerbate expansion and contraction impacts in a moat subject to powerful below surface water seepage pressures plus -25 to +105 degree temperatures.
    • Deicing barely mitigates lesser wintertime climate occurrences. Consequently, these elements continuously generate “death crashes” waiting to happen!

JMProsser 08/12/2014