Remember the pedestrian bridge that was going to connect the mixed-use Taxi campus in Globeville with the bars and restaurants sitting across the South Platte River? Construction was supposed to begin in 2019, but, as a few of our readers noticed, that hasn’t happened yet.
So what’s the hold up?
We spoke with Justin Croft, the vice president of development for Zeppelin Development, to ask about the timeline. Besides being a major player in Brighton Boulevard’s reconstruction, Zeppelin also owns the Taxi campus and would theoretically collaborate with the city to build the bridge.
The issue stems from relocating Ringsby Court, the road which runs along the north side of the South Platte.
“There have been discussions for years about relocating Ringsby… to the back side of Taxi, so that the riverfront would be freed up for people to utilize,” Croft explained. But before moving the road, the city of Denver wants to conduct a feasibility study.
“(We) would want to take a fairly deep dive into some of the more technical aspects of moving the roadway to make a final call,” Nancy Kuhn, a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in an email to us.
DOTI could support some of the feasibility study, which would run between $250,000 to $300,000 to conduct, but it doesn’t have funding allocated to hire an outside firm.
“The bridge, once it’s built, will pretty much lock in whatever exists on that riverbank. So we don’t want to put the bridge there before the road is moved,” Croft said.
There’s no timeline to move the roadway, so the project remains in bureaucratic limbo.
Mockery Brewing, which sits at the corner of 35th and Delgany streets, is right up the block from the proposed bridge, which would have connected Ringsby to Arkins Court across the river.
Ashley Nikel, the taproom manager at Mockery, has been hearing about development for years and was looking forward to the bridge.
“It would make it easier to get to the other side of the river for my patrons that live there,” she said.
According to Zeppelin’s Croft, the bridge would be a critical pedestrian connection for Taxi and the 1,500 people living and working on the 28-acre site. It would link many businesses in the area, like Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse and Comal Heritage Food Incubator.
Currently, the closest roadways to cross the Platte in the area are the highly trafficked bridges on 31st and 38th streets. There’s only one sidewalk on 31st, which disappears right past the bridge on the south bank, and on 38th, the sidewalks crumble into dirt.
Editor’s note: Andra Zeppelin, a principal at Zeppelin Development, is on the Colorado Public Radio board of director. CPR owns Denverite.