CDOT may soon buy land that could allow for I-25 improvements in central Denver

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DENVER — The stretch of Interstate 25 between Santa Fe Drive and 20th Street near downtown Denver is one of the most congested in the state. The Colorado Department of Transportation has been looking to improve it for years. A recent opportunity is putting them in a position to be flexible and have more options.

The stretch of I-25 from Santa Fe to 20th has an average of about 250,000 vehicles driving through it every day, based on CDOT data. It also has about 1,000 crashes per year.

The solution could be found just east of one section of the interstate with a 61-acre plot of land called Burnham Yard. It’s currently owned by Union Pacific Railroad and hasn’t been used for years.

A CDOT spokesperson says they’ve been told they have the “preferred proposal” for the land.

“You hesitate to speak of silver bullets in things as complicated as transportation, but this comes pretty damn close,” said CDOT spokesperson Matthew Inzeo.

CDOT is considering a couple of ideas, including splitting I-25 across the river, building along the existing RTD tracks that run the east side of the yard, or even building a double-decker highway.

A CDOT spokesperson says they could close on the land by the end of the year.

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