Denver’s getting the cash it’s been asking for to overhaul the South Platte

The project is a big deal for developers and for surrounding neighborhoods that are at risk of flooding.

The South Platte River and downtown Denver, viewed from a northeast angle. Dec. 3, 2021.

The South Platte River and downtown Denver, viewed from a northeast angle. Dec. 3, 2021.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
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Last year, Mayor Hancock and a whole bunch of his supporters made a show on the banks of the South Platte River about a symbolic document. His “Memorandum of Understanding” didn’t really do anything, but it was meant to show the federal government that Denver was ready and eager to accept $350 million to pay for sweeping renovations of the South Platte River and Harvard and Weir gulches.

On Tuesday, the White House announced Denver is getting that cash.

The White House’s website says the money comes from “President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law to strengthen port and waterway supply chains and climate resilience,” which allocated a total of $2.7 billion across the nation. The Denver project is listed as one of four “key projects” that stretch from Pennsylvania to California.

Though the project will enable more development around Confluence Park, it will also help protect westside neighborhoods that are at risk of flooding. Last year, Denver City Council member Jamie Torres told us she supported Hancock’s bid for funding specifically to help residents in those areas.

The White House’s statement specifically states the money is meant to “serve disadvantaged communities surrounding the area.”

In a tweet, Rep. Diana Degette said the funding is “a really big deal for our community.”

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