Colfax & Federal Interchange Transformation Study

Colfax-Federal Interchange project logo

The City and County of Denver (CCD) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recognize the opportunity at the Colfax and Federal Interchange to reevaluate the current configuration and develop a design that maximizes network opportunities and future land use efficiency.

The purpose of the Colfax and Federal Interchange Transformation Project is to build out the understanding of technical factors, including the interchange configuration, improving the transportation network for all users, stormwater requirements and possibilities, and evaluate the scenarios that best connect to the vision, goals, recommendations and strategies from previous citywide and area specific plans.

This study represents the first stage in the joint enterprise first envisioned and initiated by Denver, CDOT, and HPTE in 2019 to affect the transformation of the cloverleaf interchange. This study focuses on the CCD's broad vision goals any transformation of the Cloverleaf will need to achieve to be successful through the city process and provides a strong and diverse menu of options for doing so.

Project Phases

I. & II. Discovery & Vision Framework Development

March – August 2020

The project team worked with the Stakeholder group to kickoff the project and to receive input on existing conditions and the vision framework.  The Vision Framework was developed from the 20+ previous neighborhood and agency studies, and stakeholder input to provide direction on the importance of different factors into the development of a future scenario. 

Additionally, the project team created three interactive newsletters and mini-surveys to be shared with the community related to: 1) mobility, 2) stormwater requirements, and 3) land development possibilities.

Newsletter #1 – Transportation Mobility:

Newsletter #2 – Stormwater:

Newsletter #3 – Land Use:

III. Scenario Development

February 2021 - June 2021

The project team gathered additional input from one-on-one agency and department stakeholder meetings. CDOT, as the current property owner, continues to inform our process and outcomes. The project has also benefitted from new eyes as it has evolved with staffing changes. Given the many factors and inputs, the current phase of work options for investment from the public and private sector, to keep creative funding options on the table, and allow for flexibility for mobility choices and development patterns, several of the scenarios will move forward to for continued analysis.

September 2020 – January 2021

The project team has taken into account the previous Colfax/Federal work efforts that outlined different mobility options, identified constraints of the site, taken into account the technical requirements needed for transportation and mobility, and developed draft transformation scenarios that include 7 component layers: stormwater, open space, pedestrian connections, community road connections, transit routes, development parcels, and vehicular traffic.  These scenarios are some of many that the project team has/is exploring and will also continue to evolve as this project moves forward.

IV. Final Report

Based on input from DOTI’s and CDOT's Executive Leadership, one-on-one meetings with RTD, various CCD departments, and after community presentations the project’s final Study Report was released in December 2021. The study identified the CCD's goals and values for redevelopment in this area and it showcases a variety of potential alternatives that could take to achieve these.

The consensus was that east-west local street and multimodal connections were needed for all alternatives moving forward, as well as the importance of an open/green space connection across the site from the northwest neighborhoods to the southeast quadrant. In addition, emphasis was placed on the strengths and weaknesses of maintaining the Federal bridge over Colfax Avenue and providing future flexibility.

In the next phase of the project, CDOT will continue to test the concepts presented in this study, and potentially others, to compare against the existing or “no build,” condition, to ensure CDOT’s duty is fulfilled and that any option moving forward will provide a reasonable level of service for all users.

Final Report(PDF, 6MB)

Community Outreach

A fifth virtual stakeholder meeting was held on September 2, 2021, to review the draft scenarios of the Federal and Colfax interchange and how they measured against the project's Goals and Values.

A fourth virtual stakeholder meeting was held on July 29, 2021 to provide an update on the project and the draft scenarios of the Federal and Colfax interchange.

A third virtual stakeholder meeting was held on October 1, 2020 to explore draft transformational scenarios of the Federal and Colfax interchange.