City Celebrates Groundbreaking of 56th Avenue Improvement Project

Published on August 11, 2022

Rendering of cars driving on 56th Avenue between Peoria Street and Peña Boulevard

City Celebrates Groundbreaking of $40 million 56th Avenue Travel & Safety Improvement Project

Funded in part by the voter approved Elevate Denver Bond Program, the project will bring safety improvements on East 56th Avenue from Peoria Street to Peña Boulevard as well as construction job opportunities for residents

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock, District 11 City Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore, city leadership and community leaders joined together Wednesday to break ground on and kickstart the $40 million 56th Avenue Travel and Safety Improvement Project.

The project, approved by Denver voters in the 2017 General Obligation (GO) Bond program, will widen 56th Avenue between Peoria Street and Peña Boulevard into a four-lane divided multimodal roadway to improve safety and enhance transit services.

“This critical infrastructure investment is a long time coming. The residents of far northeast Denver asked for these mobility improvements to the 56th Avenue corridor, the people of Denver voted to support them, and we’re proud to deliver on that commitment,” Mayor Hancock said. “Everyone in our community can look forward to the benefits the complete corridor will bring to Denver and to our residents for years to come.”

With $27 million in GO bonds, the project also completes the multiuse bike and pedestrian trail between Peoria Street and Peña Boulevard with connections to neighborhood bike paths and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal trail system. These improvements are expected to decrease congestion and significantly reduce crashes along the corridor.

“Our goals as a city are to make streets safer and more efficient for everyone,” said Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Executive Director Adam Phipps. “The improvements along 56th Avenue from Peoria Street to Pena Boulevard will help move more people safely, whether they’re in a car, on a bike, on foot or taking transit.”

Along approximately 3-miles of 56th Avenue, the project will:

  • Widen the roadway from one to at least two travel lanes in each direction to ease vehicle congestion
  • Add a new median to separate eastbound and westbound traffic increasing safety for vehicles and pedestrians
  • Improve and install new traffic signals and pedestrian crossings which will all be ADA compliant
  • Build a new multi-use path along the north side of E. 56th Avenue for pedestrians and bikes, providing better connections to neighborhood bike lanes and to the trail system at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
  • Improve drainage along 56th Avenue and Uvalda Street

The highly traveled stretch of 56th Avenue borders the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a 15,000 acre preserve that is one of the largest urban refuges in country. Montbello and far northeast Denver residents will have easier and safer access to the Arsenal trail system once the roadway is complete.

“When Denver voters approved nearly $1 billion in GO bonds in 2017, they weren’t just investing in infrastructure, but in our economy and our workers,” said Councilwoman Gilmore. “Infrastructure projects across the city are employing thousands of residents, including hundreds from right here in Montbello and Green Valley Ranch. The men and women on these projects are delivering critical infrastructure to areas of Denver that need it most, all while stimulating our economy.”

With AMES Construction Inc. serving as the lead contractor, the project is expected to be complete in 2024. More information can be found on the project website.


Elevate Denver Bond Program

Elevate Denver is a $937 million general obligation bond program approved by voters in 2017. With nearly 500 projects, Elevate Denver enhances the City and County of Denver by maintaining, repairing and building critical infrastructure. With the first five issuances, Elevate Denver has drawn down 86 percent of the nearly billion-dollar program, bringing improvements to Denver Health and Hospital Authority and cultural institutions, as well as transportation and mobility, parks and recreation, public safety, libraries, and public facilities.