Thursday April 12 (Denver): Denver Public Works has announced that the long-awaited bicycle and pedestrian access bridge at Colorado and I-25 is scheduled to begin construction in early 2013. The bridge will connect SE Denver neighborhoods including Virginia Village and University Hills and provide safe access for people who walk and bike to the Colorado Center light rail station.
The access bridge was identified as a need as far back as 1999 and resulted in the Southeast Corridor EIS Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan including the following text: “As a result of the poor conditions along Colorado it has been suggested that a separate pedestrian overpass be constructed from the Colorado Center to Jewell, north of I-25.” While there are sidewalks on both the Colorado Blvd. and Evans Ave. bridges, both of these bridges are at I-25 interchanges with high speeds and volumes of traffic that many people find daunting (including people with disabilities). The Denver Bicycle Master Plan also identifies connectivity across I-25 to the Colorado Center and RTD Light Rail Station as a major missing link in the bicycle system.
BikeDenver, Denver’s bicycle advocacy organization, identified the access bridge project as a major priority over a decade ago. Executive Director Piep van Heuven says: “This is terrific news for Denver! It’s so important to see these connectivity projects through to completion. It improves the quality of life for all us when we take these important steps to create more walkable and bikeable communities.”