Definition of Terms

CDOT:  The Colorado Department of Transportation

The Colorado Department of Transportation is responsible for a 9,156 mile highway system, including 3,714 bridges. Each year, this system handles over 26.1 billion vehicle miles of travel. Although the Interstate system (and similar regional highways) accounts for only about 10 percent (915 miles) of the total mileage on the state system, 40 percent of all travel takes place on our Interstate highways.

CDOT maintenance forces take care of the highway system, plowing snow and repairing pavement.  The Division of Aeronautics supports aviation interests statewide, including grants to help improve local airports. CDOT’s Transit Unit provides assistance to numerous transit systems in the state. And the Office of Transportation Safety helps local law enforcement agencies with special funds to apprehend drunk drivers and increase use of safety belts.


Colorado 470 (C-470), built by the State in the place of Interstate 470 (see History of Beltway), runs approximately from I-70 at Golden on the west and I-25 and Yosemite on the south east. 

DRCOG: Denver Regional Council of Governments

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), a nonprofit association of 55 local governments, is dedicated to making the nine-county Denver region a great place to live, work and play.  Throughout its 50 years, DRCOG has worked to promote a regional perspective toward the most pressing issues facing the metropolitan area and to address those issues through cooperative local government action.   The organization is funded by membership dues and federal and state grants.

EIS: Environmental Impact Statement

An EIS is an in-depth study with corresponding reports that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969.  NEPA must be followed for any project that is federally funded or permitted.  An EIS is the “highest” level of NEPA study and is completed when significant environmental impacts could result from the implementation of a project.

EISs are prepared in two distinct parts with respect to disclosing information to the public and responding to comments.  A Draft EIS is not draft in the usual meaning of the word “draft”.  This is the document that is released to the public for review and formal public comments.  A public hearing is held to present the findings of the study.  The Final EIS is the document that provides responses to all comments received on the Draft EIS and could involve changes to the project alternatives and/or that presents the selected alternative.


Extension 470 (E-470), a non-State tollway that is in service and runs approximately from the southeast end of C-470 north to I-25 in Thornton.  (See History of Beltway for more information.)

FHWA: Federal Highway Administration

 The Federal Highway Administration is an agency under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).  As a cabinet-level organization of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, the DOT is led by a presidential appointee-the Secretary of Transportation.  The top-level official at FHWA is the Administrator, who reports directly to the Secretary of Transportation.  FHWA is headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in every State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

FHWA is charged with the broad responsibility of ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up-to-date. Although State, local, and tribal governments own most of the Nation’s highways, FHWA (sounds like you mean local government) provides financial and technical support to them for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.  FHWA’s annual budget of more than $30 billion is funded by fuel and motor vehicle excise taxes. The budget is primarily divided between two programs:  Federal-aid funding to State and local governments; and Federal Lands Highways funding for national parks, national forests, Indian lands, and other land under Federal stewardship.

Northwest Corridor Transportation Study

This is the EIS undertaken by CDOT to study the completion of the Denver regional beltway in northwestern Jefferson County.  Over 80 alignment alternatives were studied.  CDOT had identified a preferred alignment that will have minimal impact on the built and natural environment. 

Northwest Parkway

The Northwest Parkway, another Non-state tollway, essentially connects north I-25 to US 36 in Broomfield  (see History of Beltway for more information).