DENVER — The lanes are shifting on Interstate 70 through the center of Denver again.
Traffic will move to the newly built lanes that are part of the Central I-70 project.
When construction is complete later this year, a toll lane will open in each direction from I-25 to Chambers Road.
Residents in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhood (GES), who have had to endure four years of construction, will get a construction going away gift.
"The feedback we got from the community was, 'It has to be free. It can't be something you have to pay for and then get a little bit back, it has to be something that is actually a free benefit,'" said Simon Logan, the Program Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Colorado Transportation Investment Office.
Logan made a presentation to the CDOT Commission on Wednesday, explaining how some GES residents would receive a $100 transit credit, for a toll transponder and bus passes.
"Eighty-three percent of people that responded do not have an Express Toll tag," said Logan. "That tells us that the education component and outreach that we'll have to do is substantial to ensure people know what that is, how to use it and how to make sure they manage it."
The transit credit is supposed to last for 10 years. Whether or not it will stay at $100 per year for tolls and buses will be determined as the program is reviewed with residents after the first, third and fifth years.
The benefit is not for everyone in the neighborhood that has had to endure four years of I-70 construction.
It will be income restricted to families making 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less.
"It's 53% of GES residents. That's about 5,600 individuals."
2022 Income Guidelines (200% Poverty Level)
Household Number: Income
- 1: $27,180
- 2: $36,620
- 3: $46,060
- 4: $55,500
- 5: $64,940
- 6: $74,380
- 7: $83,820
- 8: $93,260
- Add $9,440 for each additional person
Yadira Sanchez, a member of the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea Coalition, told 9NEWS over the phone that she was concerned that the benefit was not for all GES residents.
CDOT explained that it is income-restricted to allow a greater benefit.
"The teeter-totter of if you can have more people in the program, less benefits (or) less people in the program, more benefits," said CDOT's Colorado Transportation Investment Office Director Nick Farber.
The $100 transit credit benefit is also being provided to the 167 households who lost their homes to eminent domain.
The money will come from the new toll lanes when they open.
"We will pay our operations and maintenance costs first. You know, plowing, the toll equipment, replacing that equipment, fixing the guardrail, things like that. And then, after we've paid those expenses, we will take 15% of the net revenue and apply that to this program," said Farber.
CDOT plans to do community outreach through direct mailers and community meetings to make sure residents know they are eligible.
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