Since it opened in 1982, Denver’s 16th Street Mall has been one of the most successful pedestrian malls in the country—and a highly functional commuter hub too. It’s overdue for renovations, and the city council completed a 10 year planning process by approving a $149 million reconstruction slated to begin next year.
Robust Downtown Action
Across the country during the 1960s-1980s, about 200 pedestrian malls were built in an effort to revitalize business districts—making them places were people could “live, work and play.” As reported by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Denver’s pedestrian hub has been very successful:
The 16th Street Mall was more than a pedestrian ramble; it also became downtown’s main transit corridor. The mall’s free shuttle bus service, which is still operational, consolidated hundreds of bus routes running through downtown and reduced bus traffic through the central city by 50%.
More than 200,000 Coloradans turned out to celebrate the mall’s opening in 1982. Since then, the mall has proved to be one of the most successful pedestrian corridors in the country while also attracting around 50,000 riders a day. More than 200 restaurants and shops line the mall, along with 5,700 residential units and 2,500 hotel rooms. According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, as many as 400,000 people — commuters and pedestrians — traverse the mall each week.
With the mall originally built to last for only about 30 years, a ten year planning process has wrapped up just in time: the mall is headed for 40 and in need of major reconstruction. Earlier this year, the city council approved the $149 million project, with building scheduled to begin next year. As cities across the country are green-lighting long awaited projects it is a busy time for bidding. Let Colonial Surety help you. We’ve taken the pain out of the old fashioned bonding process, making it easy—and confidential—for contractors to obtain, manage and monitor needed bid, performance and payment bonds. Let’s get you armed today: contractors who complete a brief (we promise!) pre-qualification for Colonial’s surety line of credit even receive, for free, Dun & Bradstreet scores.
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What’s Happening in Downtown Denver?
Expectations are high for the reconstruction of Denver’s 16th Street Mall. It plays an important role in the city–and region:
“We think this is the backbone of downtown and the hub of the Rocky Mountain West,” says Kate Barton, a senior vice president at the Downtown Denver Partnership…. “It’s the No. 1 tourist attraction in Denver. For us to give it a refreshed face and make it a place where people want to spend time and invest is critically important.”
Among the major moves of the reconstruction is removing the center promenade in favor of a scheme that pushes the buses to the center of the street and opens up much wider sidewalks that will create what Barton describes as more “amenity spaces” including “patio cafes, vendor spaces, (and) play spaces for families and kids.”
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