Denver’s newest pedestrian bridge will help tie together a divided neighborhood.

UPDATE (3/15/17): The bridge is scheduled to open in Fall 2017, so in about 6 months we should be able to move around River North a bit easier.

 

The River North neighborhood has exploded in growth since 2010 and is now one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city.  Brighton Boulevard has seen some of the most explosive growth.  In the past seven years, nearly every block on the boulevard has seen large scale residential and retail construction and restaurant and brewery openings. Despite this explosive growth, Brighton Boulevard remains physically divided from the rest of River North due to the railroad tracks which run between Wazee and Blake Streets.

Two streets pass under these tracks, Broadway shortly before it turns and becomes Brighton Boulevard and 38th Avenue by the new commuter rail station, and a new pedestrian bridge opened at 38th Avenue when the A Line to the airport began service in 2016.  This still leaves a substantial obstacle to cyclists and pedestrians who are trying to get to the Source, Industry, and the other attractions and destinations throughout the area.

A plan to make this trip a little more foot and pedal friendly is in the works.  Denver is proposing a pedestrian bridge for 35th/36th Avenues.  The bridge design woiuld be similar to the RTD pedestrian bridges which it has built at the 38th Street Station two blocks North.  The bridge was originally intended to have a loop ramp like the pedestrian bridge at 16th street over Interstate 25, but space constraints have made this option implausible. Instead, elevators will be installed at each end.  This second bridge would make it much easier to access destinations along Brighton like The Source and the new hotel and New Belgium Brewpub opening there later this Spring.  More on that here.

Plans to rebuild the three blocks of Wazee Street on the West side of the tracks are also in the works.  A new sidewalk will be put in place when the bridge is constructed and an additional sidewalk with a small green belt will be constructed at a later date. With additional growth in this area coming (including a possible 1,400 seat amphitheater-more information coming soon), this connection may help make an up and coming neighborhood even more vibrant.

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