The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has recognized Colorado Department of Transportation and its partners for the I-70 Eastbound Peak Period Shoulder Lane Project for Context Sensitive Solutions and awarded the project a 2017 Environmental Excellence Award (EEA). Since 1995, the EEAs have recognized leaders across the country who make outstanding contributions to environmental stewardship and partnerships above and beyond traditional transportation project outcomes.
In a letter to CDOT, Acting Deputy Administrator for the FHWA, Walter Waidelich Jr., commended the department for its sustainable planning and design"
"The 13-mile 1-70 Eastbound Peak Period Shoulder Lane Project provides an innovative approach to maximizing use of existing highway infrastructure by opening and tolling highway shoulders to ease the peak-period congestion. This system preserves and enhances the community character while respecting the limitations and the beauty of the mountain corridor. Less congestion is expected to reduce worker commute times, enhance the productivity of labor, provide opportunity for low-income workers, and enhance the tourism economy.
Specifically, (FHA) recognized CDOT's creativity in shaping effective transportation solutions while preserving the natural environment and enhancing neighboring communities. As the only east-west interstate across Colorado, Interstate 70 (I-70) is a vital channel for education, employment, medical services, and tourism in the Denver area. The tight mountain corridor through Clear Creek County historically produced debilitating congestion during winter weekends, as travel exceeding 2 hours to travel 8 miles, hindering the prosperity of the region."