MLK Construction 2017; Open 2018
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) on April 15 finalized the funding decision that will allow Martin Luther King Blvd. to be built as a four-lane road from Havana to Peoria. Although funding has been designated, construction won’t start until 2017, and the road won’t be open to the public until 2018.
The project cost will be $15 million, with $7,172,000 in federal funds and $7,828,00 in matching funds from TIF revenues between 2015 and 2017. A minimum of 20% local matching funds was required, and the higher level of matching funds gave the project an edge in funding effectiveness (how much can be done with the federal money being awarded).
The project met specific criteria that were required for this funding. Doug Rex, DRCOG director of transportation planning and operations said relieving congestion and increasing safety were high priorities. This project is also considered to be an important part of the long term regional transportation plan. It provides an alternative route to I-70 and Colfax Ave, both of which are over capacity in peak periods, according to the Denver Department of Public Works.
DRCOG received 140 applications for a total of $500 million in funding requests under this Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), of which 47 were funded with $175 million in federal funds.
The project adds two additional lanes to MLK Jr. Blvd from Havana St./Iola Street and a new 4-lane roadway from where MLK turns south into Moline St. to Fitzsimmons Pkwy/Peoria St. intersection. The project will also include:
–18-ft landscaped medians, turn lanes, and a 16.5-ft landscaped tree lawn
–A detached 10-ft wide multi-use concrete path on each side, a 10-ft wide multi-use concrete path and a 5-ft parallel soft trail outside of a 30-ft. buffer from the Bluff Lake Nature Center
–Several existing access consolidations, bus pads, new or improved traffic signal connections, bicycle detection, and a median pedestrian refuge at Peoria St.
–A north-south connection at Moline
Information from Denver Public works predicts there will be about 28,000 drivers daily on the new roadway by the year 2035.
Quebec Construction 2019; Open 2020
Funding to reconfigure Quebec to four lanes and optimize vehicle flow through intersections by adding turn lanes was granted by the same DRCOG program that funded the MLK extension.
Construction is expected to start in 2019 and be finished in 2020. The total project cost of $23 million will be split evenly between federal funds and funds from City sources, spread over the next four years.
The improvements on Quebec St will be from south of 13th Ave to 26th Ave and will include the following:
–One additional lane in each direction from 13th Ave to Montview Blvd
–Receiving and/or turning lanes at intersections of 13th Ave, 14th Ave, Colfax Ave, 17th Ave, Montview, and E 23rd Ave
–A continuous 5-ft sidewalk facility with a 3-ft buffer
–New or concrete bus pads, transit amenities, and bike parking
–New or improved traffic signal interconnection
The graphic below shows the difference between existing and future pavement and right of way.