First Pavers Installed on 16th Street Mall Renovation Project

Published on January 22, 2024

Crews installing transit pavers along 16th Street Mall

Denver – Today, Denver peeled the cover off the latest progress it’s made on the 16th Street Mall renovation project, revealing the very first pavers now installed on the transitway between Larimer and Lawrence streets.

Laid by hand by skilled craftspeople, there will be more than 950,000 new pavers installed as part of the renovation. The granite paver design honors the original Navajo rug and diamondback rattlesnake pattern that has been a prominent feature of the 16th Street Mall for 40 years. Outside of the transit stops themselves, there will be a new curbless configuration on The Mall that facilitates the movement of people and enables a variety of uses, including events and festivals.

A primary driver for the 16th Street renovation was the need to address the deteriorating granite paver system that was resulting in poor drainage, frequent disruptions to the transit system and maintenance costs of more than $1M annually. The new pavers have better surface friction to prevent slipping and improve pedestrian safety.  The smaller size of the new granite pavers, along with a modified drainage system, and different grout and mortar materials will contribute to a longer life.

The 16th Street Mall renovation will ensure downtown’s main street remains a destination that Denver residents and visitors can enjoy for decades to come, improving safety and mobility, while creating new opportunities for public use and enjoyment. Access to stores and businesses are maintained throughout the project while work is underway.

Highlights of the renovation include:

  • Moving transit lanes to the center of 16th Street, eliminating the median that runs between the buses on some blocks and creating wider pedestrian walkways and new amenity zones for leisure, local businesses, entertainment and tourism.
  • Expanding the number of trees on 16th Street from about 150 to more than 200 at completion with a variety of species and degrees of shade and color throughout the year.
  • City-funded small business support to ensure businesses thrive during the renovation. Since the start of the project and as of mid-November 2023, the 16th Street Mall Business Support Program has awarded 155 grants totaling over $1M, via two grant programs for eligible businesses.

The new 16th Street Mall will feature elements designed to help make 16th Street a desirable, engaging destination for all. Site furnishings, play features and moments of joy will be distributed up and down the Mall in relationship to activity areas and adjacent land uses. More on that, including conceptual renderings, is here.

The project dashboard, updated and published to the project website monthly, is a great resource for schedule, budget and business support information. More information can be found on the project website’s Current Project Activities page.