56th Avenue Travel & Safety Improvements: Peoria St to Peña Blvd

Project Overview

As part of the Elevate Denver Bond Program, Denver's Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI), with contractor partner Ames Construction, will begin travel and safety improvements on East 56th Avenue from Peoria Street to Peña Boulevard to help safely move more people whether they’re in a car, on a bike, on foot or taking transit.

The project will incorporate the following enhancements along this highly-traveled stretch of East 56th Avenue:

  • 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 vehicle traffic and to carve out a safe place for pedestrians to stop in the middle of the street before continuing to cross
  • Install new traffic signals and pedestrian crossings all being 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

56th Avenue serves as a major east-west regional thoroughfare and a major connection to Denver International Airport (DEN) and the Montbello and Parkfield neighborhoods.  Construction is expected to begin Summer 2022.


Project Goals

The goals of this project include:

EQUITY

  • New multi-use path along the north side for better connections to neighborhood bike lanes and the trail system at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
  • Overhead electrical lines will be relocated underground
  • Additional street lighting throughout the corridor
  • Connect 56th Avenue seamlessly with the Peña Boulevard interchange project

MOBILITY 

  • Improve mobility and capacity along the thoroughfare
  • Additional lane in each direction and turn lanes with more vehicle storage
  • Meet ADA requirements on all new sidewalks and pedestrian crossings at all intersections
  • New multi-use path provides access to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal existing trailheads
  • Establish 56th Avenue as a gateway to the Montbello and Parkfield neighborhoods
  • Intersections and median facilitate “Right in, Right out” turns reducing backups

SAFETY

  • New median separates oncoming traffic and reduces turning conflicts
  • Enhance safety for people who walk, bike, and drive
  • New and “smart” signals provide safer crossings with pedestrian push buttons and appropriate timing to cross
  • Revise the intersection turning movements and improve access throughout the corridor to enhance multi-modal safety

June 2022 Open House Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended the community open house meeting at Montbello Recreation Center on June 9, 2022 to learn more about the construction of the 56th Avenue Travel & Safety Improvements Project.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, presentation materials can be viewed below:

March 2022 Virtual Community Meeting Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended the virtual community meeting on March 16, 2022 to learn more about the 56th Avenue Travel & Safety Improvements Project and the Uvalda Street Design, Safety, and Mobility Improvement Project.

If you were unable to attend, a meeting presentation can be viewed below.

Meeting Presentation(PDF, 7MB)

November 2020 Virtual Open House Recap

Thanks to everyone who attended the virtual open house on November 17, 2020 to learn more about the 56th Avenue Travel and Safety Improvements Project and the Green Valley Ranch Boulevard Project. DOTI enjoyed sharing information with the community and hearing what's important to the neighborhood. 

If you were unable to attend the virtual open house, please visit our virtual platform to view the meeting recording, review project information presented at the meeting and submit any questions, comments or general feedback to the project team.

You can also refer to this meeting summary(PDF, 150KB) for an overview of some of the meeting's highlights and main discussion topics.


Project Map

Map for 56th Avenue Widening project area


What It Will Look Like

Aerial view of the completed 56th Avenue improvements at Uvalda Street


Aerial view of the completed 56th Avenue improvements at Uvalda Street


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the budget for the 56th Avenue project?

$40M with $27M being provided by the Elevate Denver Bond.

Will the large overhead electrical lines be placed underground?

The overhead lines from Chambers to Buckley will go underground.

Large other lines will remain in place.

When will this project be complete?

Q3 2024

When will this project start construction?

July 2022

Wil neighborhood streets experience closures?

Along with the Mile High Flood District, our projects will require an extended closure of Uvalda St at 56th Ave.  56th Ave will be accessible via detour with left hand turns will be allowed on street to the west.

Other streets will have low impact and short-term closures requiring a temporary detour and flagging operations.

How many traffic lights will be added onto 56th Avenue due to the widening?

There will be a total of five traffic lights along this project.  Three signals are completely new, at Uvalda, Crown, and Memphis.  Two are existing signals, at Peoria and Chambers that will be upgraded to match the improvements.

Why is a pedestrian bridge over 56th Avenue not included in the project?

Studies have shown bridges are not utilized if there are other ways to cross.  56th provides many opportunities to use ADA compliant crosswalks to access the neighborhood and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

Why install two lanes now with the potential for three WB lanes in the future?

This allows CCD flexibility for future expansion while maintaining our sustainability goals.

Will the medians be xeriscape? Will there be low water usage?

Native grasses, boulders, ornamental grasses, and mulch will be used in the medians.

Why are there no trees in the median?

Underground utilities running through medians provide issues in maintenance of the raised medians. Grasses being considered are compatible with sustainability and low water usage.

Who will maintain the medians?

We are working closely with Denver Parks and Recreation to make sure medians are maintained.  The full design is not yet complete, but maintenance is a major factor in decision making.

What will happen to the prairie dogs along 56th Avenue?

Ames will utilize passive relocation techniques and encourage the prairie dogs to move north to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal.

When will prairie dogs be relocated?

Passive relocation efforts will start after the end of pupping season on June 15, 2022 and involves creating an exclusion zone (i.e., silt fence) to encourage prairie dogs to vacate their burrows and leave the site prior to earth-work disturbances.

Where will food trucks be? Why are they being relocated?

Due to construction, food trucks have been relocated to allows crews to perform roadway widening work. DEDO will provide business support as needed.