Brighton Boulevard pain starts fading now

Once, before the construction cranes and paving crews, Brighton Boulevard was a normal road. Those days are soon to return.
3 min. read
The view from the Source Hotel on Brighton Boulevard, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) rino; five points; brighton boulevard; the source; development; construction; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado; skyline; cityscape;

The view from the Source Hotel on Brighton Boulevard, Dec. 12, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

If you're one of the bright-eyed new residents of River North, you may have heard from your elders about a time when traffic on Brighton Boulevard wasn't a total construction nightmare. Once, before the construction cranes and paving crews, it was a normal road.

Those days are soon to return. Here's what's happening.

You can drive both ways now.

A northbound lane reopened Tuesday from 38th Street to 44th Street. That stretch of road has been one-way only for several months, a major source of frustration for people traveling to Elyria Swansea and points north.

One section is nearly done.

Brighton has been reduced to two lanes from 29th Street to 40th Street, the section that passes by The Source, Industry and a ton of new construction. That work should be done sometime in the spring of 2018, likely around May or June, according to Brian McLaren, project manager on the city side.

"Once we get done with the sidewalk, we’re going to come up and do the cycle track," McLaren said. "And as soon as the weather gets nicer, we’ll do the landscaping."

How has it been for businesses?

Painful, in some cases. Darrin Duran, owner of The Urban Cyclist, said that he gets frequent calls from customers who overshoot his entrance amid all the construction. It's been "getting pretty tough" for his business, which focuses on mid-range bikes for city riding, he said.

Still, he praised the management of the project. "For my spot, I can’t say enough about Kiewit. They worked with us really, really well. They’ve kept my driveway open at all times," he said, except for about three days when work had to happen in front of his shop.

"Those guys are doing awesome, and now we’re just at the tedious part where they’re putting in the curbs and gutters."

Email me about your own experience.

"It’s a pretty big puzzle. It’s always challenging to build in an urban area," McLaren said.

The builders will ensure that business access stays open in the remaining phases, he said.

What are they doing to Brighton, anyway?

This $26 million project is meant to make Brighton much more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.

The two sections that are under construction now (29th to 38th and 38th to 44th) will include the following features:

  • Two twelve-foot lanes in each direction
  • Traffic signals at the following instructions: 29th, 31st, 33rd, 35th, 38th, and 44th
  • On-street parking
  • A continuous sidewalk on each side
  • A continuous bike track on each side
  • New landscaping, light fixtures and benches

Work on that second section will continue well into 2019. A third phase eventually will cover Brighton from 44th up to the city border at Race Court.

Apparently, it will look like this.
A rendering of a typical stretch of the future Brighton Boulevard. (City and County of Denver)

Yes, they really included a grown man doing pushups on a public bench in RiNo. Where's the lie?

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