Stapleton continues to grow as Denver will extend MLK and build second Central Park Bridge over Sand Creek South of I-70.
Stapleton was first constructed as a master planned community. with connections for cars, bikes, and pedestrians (or at least that was the plan). The neighborhood has grown quickly over the last 20 years, and as Stapleton continues growing, Denver has announced plans to grow with the neighborhood.
While 29th is considered Stapleton’s Main Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is the main thoroughfare which runs East-West through the neighborhood. This gives easy access to Park Hill and Downtown, but given that the parkway currently terminates at Moline Street, access to Aurora and Anschutz Medical Campus could be easier. Denver has identified funding to extend MLK to Peoria where it will connect with Fitzsimmons Parkway and the nearby Fitzsimmons light rail station on RTD’s R-Line. Construction is expected to begin this Spring or Summer.
Commuters and residents of Stapleton will also find it easier to access I-70 and the Northfield portion of the neighborhood, as a plan awaits approval which will add a second bridge span on Central Park Boulevard over Sand Creek, finally making Central Park Boulevard a four-lane road through the entire neighborhood. The intersection of Central Park and 40th Avenue was widened last year to help improve traffic flow, but Central Park still narrows to two lanes at the Sand Creek Bridge. While funding has already been set aside by the City of Denver for this project, no timeline is available yet.
The plan to add a second Central Park bridge is part of a multi-agency plan which will also see Denver Public Schools build a new elementary school and a new fire station (also paid for by Denver Public Schools) in Northfield near the Paul Sandoval Campus at 56th and Central Park Boulevard.
In the future, big plans are expected for the entire Stapleton neighborhood, but none are bigger than the area around Central Park Station. Currently, the station is surrounded on the South side by around 20 acres of parking lots, but Denver’s Central Park Station Area Plan which was adopted in 2012 allows for buildings up to 16 stories high around the station.