A map produced by Denver Public Works shows the major components of the Platte to Park Hill drainage projects.

In a blow to critics of the $1.2 billion Interstate 70 expansion, a federal judge on Thursday denied a request to halt the state from providing money for several large Denver stormwater projects.

U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez also dismissed three claims in the lawsuit that hinged on flood-protection links between the city drainage projects and the I-70 plan. But several other claims remain active, keeping the case alive.

The ruling came in an environmental challenge filed against the I-70 project in July. The plaintiffs, led by developer Kyle Zeppelin, argue that the Colorado Department of Transportation and city officials have obscured the extent of the link between the controversial highway expansion and the city drainage projects, resulting in CDOT failing to consider all impacts fully in the I-70 environmental impact review.

Regarding the plaintiffs’ attempt to stop the drainage projects, the judge found he had little power to intervene. The suit doesn’t target the city of Denver, so the plaintiffs could only ask Martinez to order CDOT to halt remaining payments under a city-state cost-sharing agreement that covers the drainage work and I-70.

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Source:: The Denver Post – Politics

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