Denver is awaiting CDOT review of a revised noise evaluation report that will help answer the question of whether a noise mitigation wall will be required as part of the extension of Martin Luther King Blvd. in east Stapleton. The report was prepared by engineers working for Forest City. It includes additional information on potential interference of driver sight distances from placement of the noise walls. Denver has taken the position that the noise walls are not “reasonable and feasible” but the city needs concurrence by CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) because the $16 million project is funded in part with federal monies.
Nancy Kuhn, Denver Public Works’ communications director, says, “Right now, we don’t have a specific timeframe for receiving the determination.” Jane Boand, DPW senior planner, said in an email that should CDOT and FHWA not concur, Denver Public Works would work with CDOT to develop an outreach plan to the residents and property owners, possibly leading to a vote conducted according to CDOT protocol. That process means a vote could not occur “until at least February because of the necessary preparation and the mailing of the ballots.” According to that timetable, a public meeting might be held mid- to late-January.
The project was originally slated to begin construction in the summer of 2016. It will extend the roadway from Havana St. to Peoria St., and add two through lanes in each direction along with medians and detached parallel bicycle/pedestrian facilities. A combination of factors has delayed the project possibly a full calendar year. Those factors include design changes, new federal and state noise regulations and an outdated 2011 environmental impact document. The noise walls under consideration would be located along the south side of the new MLK alignment from Havana to Moline St. where there are existing residential properties. For additional information, search for “Noise Wall Issue Delays MLK Extension” at FrontPorchStapleton.com (or December 2016 issue, page 35).
There are no other noise walls in Stapleton so one here seems arbitrary and would be out of place. Why is the wall only being considered for this section of MLK?
Why is the solution to put up a wall? If the traffic is going to be too loud, change the road design so that traffic will be slower.