Denver council delays consideration of massive flood-control project

A rendering of the 39th Avenue greenway and channel plan. (City and County of Denver)
A rendering of the 39th Avenue greenway and channel plan. (City and County of Denver)
A rendering of the 39th Avenue greenway and channel plan. (City and County of Denver)

The Denver City Council did not vote on a $78 million contract to build a large part of its controversial flood-control project at its meeting on Monday.

Heeding concerns and questions from community members, Councilman Rafael Espinoza requested that the vote be delayed until Jan. 2. The request was granted.

The contract is for the construction of the 39th Avenue Greenway — an elaborate drainage channel and recreation area — and for the construction of a flood-control area on the Park Hill Golf Club property.

Espinoza wants to open the window for more public comment, he said. Council President Albus Brooks said he wants to address concerns about whether digging the channel could surface pollutants, and he wants more information about how construction effects would be mitigated.

“We had some folks in the Cole neighborhood talking about how close it is to their home,” he said.

Councilwoman Debbie Ortega said she wanted more information on the overall project, too.

“I would like to get information about where we are in the overall spending for Platte to Park Hill,” Ortega said. “Are we anticipating we are on budget? Do we think that we will be over budget?”

The council also considered a proposal that would clear the way for the city to condemn and forcibly purchase part of the Park Hill Golf Club. A previous deal to buy the whole golf course has encountered some significant challenges. It will also return on Jan. 2 with a public hearing.

What looks like a mile-long park and acts like a drainage ditch? Watch this.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.