Iowa Underpass Bicycle/Pedestrian Improvements

Photo of proposed Iowa Underpass Improvements

The City and County of Denver is planning an ADA-accessible connection underneath the railroad tracks and to the South Platte River Trail, with improved crossings and new sidewalks for pedestrians and people on bikes.

The new path will enhance multimodal safety and connectivity in the adjacent neighborhoods, provide ADA access under the railroad tracks, and improve comfort for people travling near Santa Fe Drive/US-85 and the D-18 bike route.

Planned Improvements

  • Remove stairs to create an ADA accessible, separated path
  • Eliminate the gap along the D18 bike route providing increased safety, clearer wayfinding, and an improved user experience
  • Improved crossings at Santa Fe Drive
  • New sidewalk offset from Santa Fe Drive, spanning Jewell Avenue to Florida Avenue

Construction Update - May 2022

In order to keep the project moving, the work has been split into two separate construction packages:

South Platte Greenway Access Sidewalk Improvements

  • This work involves constructing a new multi-use pathway along the west side of S. Santa Fe Drive between Florida and Jewell.  In addition to the new pathway, new landscaping and irrigation will be constructed, along with new lighting along the pathway.  At the Florida, Iowa, and Jewell intersections, new curb ramps will be constructed in conformance with current accessibility requirements.
  • Work began on the South Platte Greenway Access Sidewalk Improvements project in January 2022, with Hamon Infrastructure as the Contractor.  They are currently in the process of constructing the new multi-use pathway  and the curb ramp improvements.  Upcoming work items include constructing new irrigation and installing the new pedestrian lighting.  This project is expected to be complete by mid-summer.

Iowa Underpass

  • This work will involve reconstruction the existing sidewalk along the north side of Iowa Ave. between Acoma & S. Santa Fe Drive to replace the existing stairs with ramps, making the pathway accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.  New lighting along the pathway is planned, along with public art.
  • Work on the Iowa Underpass project is expected to begin in the first half of 2023.

Iowa Avenue Map


Project Background and Materials

Project Update - Fall 2019

In September 2019, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) mandated the City and County of Denver take the necessary actions and steps to ensure the historic nature of the underpass and historic properties are preserved appropriately.

In an effort to preserve the places that make Colorado unique, the next steps for the project will determine the effects of proposed work on listed properties. The final project will meet its established purpose to accommodate pedestrians and other trail users safely and effectively.

onstruction schedules will be determined based on these factors; the City will provide updates as information is available.

Open House - April 2019

Denver Moves

In May 2011, the City and County of Denver published Denver Moves. The initiative expands the vision for the non-motorized transportation and recreation system in Denver, identifying the next phase of priorities for making bicycle and multi-use connections in the Mile High City. 

Read the Denver Moves plan(PDF, 6MB)