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PB to design Denver urban renewal project

DENVER — Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) was selected by the city and county of Denver to design an urban renewal project for a 12-block area along 14th Street between Colfax Avenue and Market Street in downtown Denver. The purpose of the project is to create an “ambassador street” within the downtown city grid, linking together several cultural and municipal facilities, including the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Denver Convention Center, Webb Building, and historic Larimer Square.

The initiative is the result of a public-private partnership of the city and county of Denver, the Downtown Denver Partnership, and property owners along 14th Street. The property owners voted in November for formation of a general improvement district (GID) to provide additional capital construction and maintenance dollars to match a $10 million contribution from the city.

Key to the project’s success will be implementation of a new urban street cross-section that will rebalance the corridor to meet the needs of all multimodal and pedestrian travelers and will allow for greater economic development opportunities within the right-of-way. Included in the cross-section will be wider sidewalks, a dedicated bike lane, and a “flex-lane” allowing on-street parking during non-peak times. The street cross-section will also allow for amenities such as granite planters, wayfinding monuments, and sidewalk cafes.

As the prime consultant, PB is responsible for developing a general concept for the corridor as well as overall project management. The firm will provide final design of all the transportation and civil engineering elements and will also assist the city with the formation of the improvement district. PB is also providing 3D visualization and animation services for the ultimate design of the project.

The PB team is supported by subconsultant partners including CRL Associates, which is providing public involvement stakeholder consensus services, and studioINSITE, which is providing urban design and landscape architecture services.

Design for the project is expected to be complete in 2010, with construction completed by the end of 2011.