West Jewell Avenue Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge

A proposed bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Santa Fe Drive/US 85 and the adjacent freight railroad and RTD light rail tracks near West Jewell Avenue has been more than a decade in the making. The need for a safe, grade separated crossing to provide east-to-west connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists is identified in several City plans, and this high-priority project received funding through the City and County of Denver’s 2017 Elevate Denver Bond Program.

Planned Improvements  

  • Bridge providing improved safety and mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists between Pasquinel's Landing park, the Platte River Trail and south Broadway corridors
  • ADA-compliant design
  • Better bicycle connection to RTD’s Evans Station
  • Bridge landings on both sides of Santa Fe Drive
  • Associated landscaping improvements
  • Engineering design coordination with the Iowa Underpass Bicycle/Pedestrian Improvements project

Project Benefits  

  • Connects neighborhoods on the east side of Santa Fe Drive (Overland, Platte Park, Rosedale, University and Washington Park) with the South Platte River Trail and neighborhoods on the west side (Overland, Ruby Hill, College View and southwest Denver)
  • Seamless connection to the upcoming multi-use path on Santa Fe Dr/US85 between Florida Ave. and Jewell Ave.
  • Better connectivity between transportation and recreational resources
  • Improves public safety and access

Project Map

Jewell and Evans Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge Area Map

Project Background and Materials

Jewell Avenue Pedestrian Bridge Conceptual Alignment and Constraints Design Analysis Report(PDF, 3MB)

The Jewell Avenue pedestrian bridge has been recommended in previous planning studies to improve multimodal connections within the greater Evans Station area.  In 2019, DOTI staff conducted an analysis to understand existing conditions and neighborhood changes near the Jewell Avenue alignment to confirm project scope and develop concept designs to addresses area issues and constraints. This report summarizes existing conditions, issues, and constraints that will inform conceptual design alternatives and evaluation criteria.

Public Meeting Archive

A community open house was held on March 16, 2023 to learn more about the design of this bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Santa Fe Drive/US 85 near West Jewell Avenue.

Frequently Asked Questions

What has the planning process for this project looked like?

Numerous studies from the last decade address the need for a bike and pedestrian bridge at Jewell Ave across Santa Fe Dr. The 2019 Bridge Conceptual Alignment and Constraints Design Analysis Report gathered data and input from the community and various government agencies to identify a preferred alternative for the bridge.

Throughout the design phase and construction activities, Denver will continue to coordinate with railroad officials, and federal, state and local agencies that will be impacted by this bridge project.

What are the funding sources for this project?

The project is part of the Elevate Denver Bond Program: a 10-year, $937 million general obligation bond program approved by voters in 2017. The Elevate Denver program will enhance the City and County of Denver by providing critical improvements to the City’s infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks, parks, recreation centers, libraries, cultural centers, public-owned buildings and safety facilities.

In 2022, this project received additional funding through the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Fiscal Year 2022-2025 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) grant.

Why does the preferred alternative include ramps and not elevators?

Ramps are safer, more cost effective and easier to maintain than elevators.

How tall will this bridge be?

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad requires bridges over its tracks to be 23 ½ feet above the rail so that it doesn’t impede with safety and freight operations.

RTD requires 4 feet of clearance over the electrified catenary line above their tracks. At its highest point, the bridge will be 30 feet above these tracks.

How will the City prevent vandalism and misuse of the bridge?

To promote safety, the bridge will be well lit and designed with a clear line of sight to travel throughout the community. To help deter vandalism, an anti-graffiti coating is being considered.

Will the bridge be accessible to people with various mobility restrictions?

The bridge and the ramps leading to it will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA-compliant railings will be put in place to improve accessibility to the bridge.

What is being considered to prevent people from throwing things off of the bridge?

In the interest of public safety and to avoid disrupting freight train and RTD operations, the project team is considering a number of ramp barriers, including plexiglass or tightly-woven fencing.

Will there be public art or other aesthetic features to enhance the bridge?

Yes, one percent of all capital improvement projects with funding greater than $1 million goes towards public art. This includes the Jewell/Evans Bridge project. The Arts and Venues Department will coordinate the public art project. Typically, community members will be given an opportunity to participate on the committee to select the artist.

How will this project improve connectivity between US-85/Santa Fe Drive and the southwest rail system?

The project will provide critical regional bike and pedestrian trail linkage and east-west connectivity between transportation and recreational resources. Neighborhoods to the east (Overland, Platte Park, Rosedale, University, Washington Park) will have access to the South Platte River Trail/Ruby Hill Park and neighborhoods to the west (Overland, Ruby Hill, College View and southwest Denver) will have access to the RTD Evans Station.

Can the western approach be located north of Jewell?

No. The option of locating the western approach north of Jewell Avenue was investigated early in the design process but not pursued. There were too many negative impacts to neighboring properties, regional trail connectivity and mobility access, safety and visibility.

Because of this, the preferred alternative locates the western approach to the south of Jewell Avenue.

Why is the eastern approach ramp triangular instead of diamond shaped?

A triangular-shaped spiral structure for the eastern approach ramp will use existing space more efficiently, maximize ADA accessibility, provide comfort and openness to all users, and minimize ramp steepness over other shapes.

When will the project be finished?

Project completion is scheduled for early 2027.

How do I learn more about the project or contact the project team?

For more information on the Jewell/Evans Bridge project, visit the project website. For project questions or concerns, email abi.subramanian@denvergov.org.