Update: City officials say they’ll keep one northbound lane of Brighton Boulevard open during the closure. The closure is still set to run for about two weeks, starting April 26.
Business leaders in River North are asking the city to keep Brighton Boulevard open.
As of last week, the city and its contractor had planned to close the boulevard from 29th to 31st streets as part of the larger reconstruction of Brighton. The closure would start this Thursday and last through May 7, with traffic detoured and businesses kept open.
That idea rang some alarm bells with members of the RiNo Art District, an influential local group that oversees some services in the area.
“Our organization had concerns that a full closure would send a distressing signal to the community that Brighton was becoming even less accessible, at a time when we are all anxiously anticipating its opening, and when businesses very much need the support,” wrote Jamie Licko, president of the district, in an email to Denverite.
Some of the businesses along the strip are “barely hanging on,” the district’s executive committee wrote in a letter last week. Construction has been underway since Oct. 2016, with two of Brighton’s four lanes closed for much of that time.
The city’s team met with RiNo board officials on Monday to talk over alternative options, including one that would keep a lane of northbound traffic open, according to public works spokesperson Nancy Kuhn.
The full closure was meant to allow crews to install storm sewers and finish paving the street in less than two weeks. Alternative options could take a longer amount of time, according to Kuhn. But the overall project timeline should remain the same with the alternative, according to Licko.
The city hadn’t announced its final plan as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The work on this section of Brighton, from 29th to 40th streets, should be finished in June, Kuhn said. The $29 million project includes sidewalks, dedicated bike tracks, hundreds of new trees and new lighting, with two lanes of traffic in each direction.