As those who drive Martin Luther King Blvd. from Havana to Peoria know, the “MLK Extension” project has been in delay mode. Because the project funding includes federal dollars, it must comply with a federal regulation that the residents in nearby homes vote on whether they want a noise wall.
Voting by affected homeowners and tenants is taking place now through July 18. The wall is being voted on in three separate segments by residents from Ironton to Moline. One, two or all three of the segments will be built, or not built, based on a simple majority vote. Eligible voters are limited to property owners and tenants in each segment.
A short section of a demonstration noise wall has been constructed on the south side of MLK just west of Kingston St. (shown above). A visual simulation of the three wall segments can be viewed by clicking here. (Click on “Noise Wall Benefited Receptor Vote” to see the three videos.)
Noise walls were identified during the project’s environmental evaluation as a feasible mitigation of noise impacts from the widening of MLK to a four-lane street. Homes impacted by noise from the roadway expansion are defined as those where sound would be reduced by at least five decibels as a result of wall construction. The three segments with affected properties on the south side of MLK are those from Ironton to Kingston, from Kingston to Lima and from Lima to Moline.
Results of the voting will be announced at a July 25 public meeting to be held at the Central Park Recreation Center from 6 to 7 pm in the Community Room. Written or oral comments on the potential effects of the project overall can be made at the meeting.
The current project schedule calls for final approval by CDOT and FHWA this fall with construction slated for “Entire 2018.” However, that schedule may change if the noise walls are required by vote of the affected residents and homeowners. At this point, only the general location and height of the walls has been decided: in the identified blocks, approximately three feet north of the existing multi-use path, with heights ranging from 12 feet at the intersections, dropping to 10 and 8 feet in the middle of the long blocks. Details such as materials and color of the walls have not been determined. The City of Denver has not yet identified a source of funding for the walls, which could cost as much as $1.4 million.
Visit the Denver Public Works project website about the project at https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-department-of-public-works/projects/current/mlk-boulevard-extension.html