Thinking big to develop a growing region
Metro Denver has made significant improvements to the region's transportation infrastructure in the past decade. From development of the area's beltway and toll roads (C-470, E-470, and the Northwest Parkway), to completion of the $1.67 billion T-REX Project (Transportation Expansion Project), Metro Denver is continually expanding its highway system to efficiently move people and goods.
During construction 2001-2006, T-REX was the nation's largest multimodal project. T-REX added 19 miles of light rail and improved 17 miles of highways and bridges in southeast Denver. The project connects the region's two largest employment centers – the Denver Tech Center and Denver's Central Business District.
Metro Denver's Beltway
Three quarters of the beltway around Metro Denver has been completed to date (C-470, E-470, and the Northwest Parkway):
- Construction began in 1982 on C-470, the first portion of Metro Denver's beltway. All three phases of the 26-mile transportation project, extending from I-25 in the southern Metro Denver area to I-70 near Golden, were completed by 1990.
- The 47-mile E-470 toll road runs along the eastern perimeter of Metro Denver, extending from state highway C-470 at I-25, running east then north along the western edge of Denver International Airport, terminating at I-25 on the north end of Metro Denver just south of 160th Avenue. The first E-470 segment opened in 1991, the second in 1999, with the final leg completed in 2003.
- The Northwest Parkway toll road, completed in 2003, seamlessly connects with E-470 at I-25, and with U.S. 36 and State Highway 128 in Broomfield.
Freight Service The BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad, both Class I railroads, provide freight service in Metro Denver. Both companies are working with the Colorado Department of Transportation on potential rail infrastructure improvements in the state – the Front Range Railroad Infrastructure Rationalization Project. The study evaluated relocating rail infrastructure east, away from the Front Range and major population centers.
Passenger service in Metro Denver is available on Amtrak via the California Zephyr route, which connects Chicago to San Francisco and follows a scenic path through the plains and the Rocky Mountains. Amtrak service is based out of Denver Union Station, which is undergoing a redevelopment plan to transform it into a regional transportation hub where light rail, buses, and passenger rail converge.