By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4) – One of the most popular tourist attractions in Denver is looking at a possible makeover.
The 16th Street Mall was designed to last 30 years. Now at 35 years old, it’s time for some revitalization, and we’re getting a better idea of what that could look like.
Linda Crain lives along the 16th Street Mall. She’s eager to see the possible changes.
“I think it’s exciting that they are going to work on revamping the 16th Street Mall,” she said, “Sometimes you are on the sidewalk, or you have a cafe you have to walk around it and it narrows. Anything they can do to make it more consistent through all the way through the mall, I think is a benefit.”
The City of Denver has chosen design options for several possible layouts.
“We have been thinking at how to make the mall a better place to be for people through design,” said Andrea Burns with Denver Community Planning and Development.
One design would make the space on each side of the mall symmetrical through and place the buses in the middle.
Another, would make it asymmetrical in some places to accommodate restaurants and outdoor dining.
The revamp also makes small changes possible like moving trees five feet away from buses to keep branches from getting hit by side-view mirrors.
The city would also use new Silva Cell technology to allow tree roots to grow.
“We hope that we can take what’s great about the mall today and expand on those things. If changes are made, we still want to have all the best part about the mall stay the same,” Burns said.
The tree canopy, free mall ride, pedestrian walkway, restaurant seating and even the new LED lights will stay.
The City of Denver is looking at paying for this project through a variety of sources including a small amount from the RTD, Tax Increment Funding and a part of the bond raise passed last November.
Construction likely won’t begin until 2020, with completion expected in 2022.