Denver Receives $35.4M to Reconnect Globeville and Elyria-Swansea

Swansea Park in Denver's Elyria-Swansea Neighborhood. Credit: Jeffrey Beall/Wikipedia

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston announced in March a new $35.4 million federal grant to invest in the historically underserved neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea (GES).  

The funding will be used to build new infrastructure to better connect Globeville and Elyria-Swansea, including a multimodal bridge over the South Platte River and a pedestrian bridge over railroad tracks, as well as make safety improvements and reclaim vacant land for future, community-led development opportunities. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant Program.

“This direct investment in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea communities will help keep neighbors connected and ensure the community remains vibrant for years to come,” said Mayor Mike Johnston. “For too long, this community has been underfunded and underserved, and this new project is part of my commitment to ensure every Denver neighborhood can thrive.”

Working closely with the National Western Center, improvements made through this grant-funded project will enhance walkability and create a healthier, more vibrant, and better connected community. This project will facilitate access to critical services, including childcare, schools, and fresh grocery options. Through environmental remediation, this project will also remove methane and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one of the country’s most polluted zip codes.

“Globeville and Elyria-Swansea are a cornerstone of the District 9 community, and I’m thrilled that more than $35 million is being invested directly in these neighborhoods,” said Councilman Darrell Watson. “This new grant will go a long way in reconnecting residents, improving access and walkability throughout the area, and facilitating community-led growth.”  

Denver secured this grant thanks to strong partnerships with the Biden Administration and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, as well as Denver’s federal delegation, including Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. John Hickenlooper, and Rep. Diana DeGette, who worked closely with USDOT to advocate for Denver and the GES community.  

“The Reconnecting Globeville and Elyria-Swansea Project will help Denver build the Bettie Cram Drive Bridge and increase access to public transit, outdoor recreation, and economic opportunity for some of Denver’s most underserved neighborhoods,” said Sen. Michael Bennet. “These three neighborhoods have historically lacked the support and access to resources they need to thrive, and I’m grateful that this funding will help them grow while preserving local culture.”

“When Colorado built the I-70 corridor, Globeville and Elyria-Swansea – diverse, working-class neighborhoods – were cut off from one another and from central Denver,” said Sen. John Hickenlooper. “This investment from our Inflation Reduction Act will right this wrong and reconnect them both.”

“This funding is a huge win for Denver, especially for those in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea who have long faced significant infrastructure challenges,” said Rep. Diana DeGette. “By enhancing urban connectivity and transportation options, this project will transform the landscape between Globeville and Elyria-Swansea, fostering improved accessibility and quality of life for residents. I am proud to have supported the legislation that made this grant possible and is delivering real results for Denverites.”

As the City and County of Denver continues to work closely with Globeville and Elyria-Swansea residents to invest in these neighborhoods and improve connectivity, public health, and opportunity, this project will create a pathway toward continued partnership and investment toward a vibrant, strong community.  

“We are proud to support the city in its ongoing efforts to reknit the neighborhoods that Focus Points serves,” said Jules Kelty, executive director of Focus Points Family Resource Center. “Through the Reunited Denver Project, we are not just building bridges and roads; we are weaving a tapestry of hope and opportunity for our underserved communities.”

Learn more about this project on page 38 of USDOT’s fact sheet.

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