Denver — The City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District (RTD), with support from CH2M, will kick off the downtown 16th Street Mall alternative analysis and environmental clearance effort to determine the future of the 1.2-mile corridor. The 16th Street Mall is one of Denver’s most vital connectors and important public spaces.

The collaborative effort between the City and County of Denver, Regional Transportation District, Downtown Denver Partnership, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and the Federal Transit Administration will follow the National Environmental Policy Act process to consider social and environmental impacts when reviewing possible alternatives for the mall, which may include a recommendation to leave the mall as-is.

Redesign possibilities may include new shuttle lane alignments, sidewalk enhancements, expanded seating and other placemaking concepts or alternate surface materials, all of which would help the corridor to meet 21st century needs.

Targeting construction completion of the redevelopment by 2022, if an alternative is chosen through the NEPA process, CH2M will assist the agencies in preparing preliminary design and environmental clearance for the transformation, with a focus on protecting the historic and cultural significance of the 16th Street Mall, maximizing safety and mobility and easing maintenance concerns of the shuttle operations.

“As a hometown company, this opportunity to partner with the City and County of Denver and stakeholders to improve the Mall for transit, pedestrians and leisure activities is exciting,” said CH2M City of Denver Account Manager, Scott Ingvoldstad. “We’re passionate about improving Denver’s livelihood—gaining the support of our neighbors and fostering pride in our city — to preserve the 16th Street Mall’s identity as the heart of Denver’s vibrant downtown.”

More than just a transportation corridor, the 16th Street Mall is truly a jewel of downtown Denver and a connection to many activities and events. Nearly 45,000 weekday riders use the Free MallRide shuttle, which runs the length of the Mall.

Participating agencies officially kicked off the project on June 28 with a 3-day workshop to guide the vision for optimizing the corridor.

With this new work on the 16th Street Mall, and its appointment as the program manager for the National Western Center campus development, CH2M is proving its commitment to creating new pathways for human progress, breathing fresh life, energy and enterprise into every community they touch — starting right at home in Denver.