16th Street Mall Renovation Breaks Ground

Rendering of 16th Street Mall, courtesy of City and County of Denver.

On Thursday, April 14, the City and County of Denver officially kicked off the renovation of the 16th Street Mall to ensure downtown’s main street remains a destination that Denver residents and visitors can enjoy for decades to come. The project will address deteriorating infrastructure to improve safety and mobility, while creating new opportunities for public use and enjoyment. Access to stores and businesses will be maintained throughout the project while work is underway.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Kourtny Garrett, CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, Fred Worthen, assistant general manager for Bus Operations, Regional Transportation District, and Tracy Huggins, executive director, Denver Urban Renewal Authority, we on hand at the SE corner of Larimer Street and 16th Street Mall, to commemorate the start of construction.

Highlights of the 16th Street Mall project include:

  • Installation of new granite pavers in a pattern similar to what’s on the corridor today, but with better drainage and greater surface friction to improve pedestrian safety.
  • Moving transit lanes to the center of The Mall, eliminating the median that runs between the buses on some blocks and creating wider pedestrian walkways and new amenity zones for leisure, local businesses, entertainment and tourism.
  • Expanding the number of trees on The Mall from about 150 today to more than 200 at completion with a variety of species and degrees of shade and color throughout the year.
  • Small business support made possible by a $1M allocation in the city’s 2022 budget to ensure businesses thrive during the renovation.

Project Background

Initial planning studies for the 16th Street Mall began back in 2010 and over the years have included input from hundreds of Denver residents. In 2019, the city gained approval from the Federal Transit Administration to move forward with a preferred alternative that reconfigures the layout of the Mall by eliminating the center median and moving the free MallRide Shuttles to run parallel in the center of the Mall, creating wider sidewalks and a new amenity zone area for increased activation of the outdoor space for enjoyment by all.

The City and County of Denver selected PCL Construction Services as the design/build firm to carry out the 16th Street Mall Project. PCL’s $149M design/build contract is funded through a mix of local, state, and federal funds, including voter-approved Elevate Denver bond funds and contributions from partners including the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Colorado Department of Transportation, and Federal Transit Administration.

The 16th Street Mall Project is a component of Denver’s overall financial plan for an equitable and sustainable economic recovery and is anticipated to support more than 1,800 jobs, generate more than $155 million in income for workers, nearly $380 million in sales for businesses and have a regional economic impact of as much as $4 billion throughout the duration of the project.

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