The DeBoer Park bridge won’t be fixed until 2026

Sorry to be the bearer of some bad news.
3 min. read
Someone expressed their discontent with the DeBoer Park bridge, which is closed and will probably not reopen until 2026. July 9, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Everyone likes to hear a story about a bridge.

Unless you're Ben Corum, and the bridge in question will be closed for two more years.

"It's been a bummer," he told us.

Corum said he first noticed that DeBoer Park's footbridge over Harvard Gulch was closed to the public about a year ago.

The DeBoer Park bridge is closed and will remain so until, probably, 2026. July 9, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Others have noticed too, with one section of the broken structure tagged by some local artist.

"THIS BRIDGE IS A SCAM!" it reads. "Fix meeeeee"

Corum tried to figure out why, but said he hit a dead-end when he tried tweeting at city departments.

So he wrote us, asking for an explanation. (You can do that, too, you know!)

Here's the deal with the bridge

Denver Parks and Rec spokesperson Stephanie Figueroa said officials discovered it was unsafe.

"During routine inspection last year, the pedestrian bridge in DeBoer Park that goes over Harvard Gulch was determined to be structurally unsafe and needed to be closed for safety precautions. The City has installed 'Bridge Closed' signs at the closures.  Detour routes for bicycles and pedestrians have also been posted to connect the trail on either side of the closed bridge," she wrote us.

The DeBoer Park bridge is closed and will remain so until, probably, 2026. July 9, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

As for the timeline, she added:

"[Denver Parks and Rec] is aiming for a Spring/Summer 2026 opening. Construction can only be done during low flow season which is October-April. With design starting now, we’re aiming for construction to start October 2025."

She said they won't know what the replacement will cost until they have a plan. They also won't need much of a public input process, since they're not really changing anything.

A path at DeBoer Park. July 9, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

"The floodplain regulations make the structure selection very restrictive. The only eligible structure type is a low-flow bridge," she wrote. "This is essentially replacing a structure with a structure."

City Council member Paul Kashmann's office posted a notice recently, saying they "understand the inconvenience" and "thank you for following the alternative routes and for your patience."

Related: Do you want these bridges?

For now, more waiting

Corum said he understands.

Still, he lives on the park's south side and has been missing what was once an easy crossing over the gulch.

"It definitely matters to us," he told us. "We feel it every time we go out to walk the dog."

Olive, the pewter-colored Labrador mutt, will have to lead her owners around the park's edges for a good long while.

Recent Stories