Work Begins to Improve 56th Avenue from Quebec to Havana | Transportation
DENVER, CO — Thursday, March 3, 2011 – Denver Public Works has initiated the reconstruction of 56th Avenue from Quebec to Havana Streets. Work on this $9.2 million project will widen 56th Avenue from one lane in each direction to six lanes (three lanes in each direction). Major elements of the project include reconstruction of 56th Avenue with concrete pavement and a landscaped median, new vehicle and pedestrian bridges, major drainage facilities, adjustment of surface utilities, and upgrades to traffic signals. Ten foot multi-use paths will also be constructed on both sides of the arterial.
“The widening of 56th Avenue is vital to northeast Denver and to the region, and provides a much-needed alternate route to DIA. This project will enable better vehicular access to this growing area while reducing congestion,” said Mayor Guillermo (Bill) Vidal. “As a City, we also continue to look at transportation from a multi-modal perspective and this project will create multi-use paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, preparing us to handle the predicted overall transportation demand in the area.”
Fifty-sixth Avenue is one of the few continuous east-west arterials in the northeast Denver metro area. It also provides a vital route during major incidents on I-70 and is a key access route for Denver International Airport emergencies. Traffic demand on 56th Avenue has and will continue to grow due to ongoing development adjacent to the corridor including commercial development in the Denver International Airport Gateway area, operation of an expanded visitor center at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, and operation of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park/Prairie Gateway development in Commerce City.
“The start of this project marks a significant vision coming to fruition. Years of planning will now connect Denver to surrounding communities, which will accommodate decades of growth.” said Denver Public Works Manager George Delaney.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by June of 2012. The construction phasing plan is designed to minimize inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians in the corridor. Castle Rock Construction Company of Centennial is the project contractor with URS Corporation of Denver as the design consultant of record for the project.
“This project will add key features that will support a growing area and add value to the community through job creation and infrastructure improvements.” said Denver City Councilman Michael Hancock. "I want to thank the federal, state, local and private sector agencies that had the foresight to understand the importance of this project."
The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration are providing project oversight of the construction. Federal funds will provide 80% of the project cost; the City of Denver is contributing 20%. Corridor landowner ProLogis is contributing an additional $1 million for road improvements at 56th Avenue and Havana Street.
This project is subsequent to a similar project to widen 56th Avenue that was jointly completed by Commerce City and Denver in support of the Prairie Gateway project, home of Dick’s Sporting Good Park. That phase of 56th Avenue improvements, from Quebec Street to Valentia Street, was completed in the spring of 2007.
Future phases of the 56th Avenue improvements will complete the widening of the street to six lanes from Havana Street to Peña Boulevard. These improvements will be constructed in phases, as construction funding is assembled.