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56th Avenue at Peña Boulevard Operational & Safety Improvements


Denver Public Works is planning improvements to 56th Avenue across the Peña Transportation Corridor, from Old Buckley Road east to approximately 400 feet east of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) A-Line rail bridge. The purpose of the project is to improve traffic operations , improve safety at the interchange and enhance multimodal use and connectivity. 

The Project includes the Peña Boulevard interchange and transition to 56th Avenue:

  • extending four travel lanes west under Peña which will taper back into the existing two-lane section near Old Buckley Road
  • ramp improvements to Peña Boulevard
  • a median
  • a stormwater detention pond;
  • a multi-use trail connection on the north side of 56th Avenue through the existing Peña interchange, connecting to Old Buckley Road.

The sidewalk along the south side of 56th Ave between the Peña interchange and Memphis Street will be constructed in a separate City-funded project.

project area map at Pena boulevard and 56th Avenue 



project schedule from 2017 kickoff through 2021 construction

Project Status: Design & Environmental

Environmental Clearance (NEPA) should be completed in early 2019.

Final design should be completed by Spring 2019.

Construction should begin in Spring 2020 and be completed by Spring 2021.

56th Avenue at Pena project logo


Jane Boand, Denver Public Works

Todd Johnson, Denver Public Works

Far Northeast Area Plan -- Neighborhood Meeting
Tuesday, January 30

Other District 11 Neighborhood Meetings
TBD: Ongoing


National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Categorical Exclusion Process

Proposed Federal Action

If a project uses federal funds or has any other federal nexus, it is classified as a "proposed federal action" and is subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation process.

If a project is anticipated to result in low levels of environmental impact and meets certain criteria, it may be "categorically excluded" from a full NEPA analysis. This is the case with the 56th Avenue at Peña Boulevard project, which is expected to be cleared as a Categorical Exclusion (CatEx).



Evaluation of Potential Environmental Impacts

The CatEx evaluates the environmental impacts that are likely to result from the project. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) CatEx process will be followed for the 56th Aveune at Peña Boulevard Project. Both the FHWA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will approve or accept the CatEx.

The environmental impacts evaluation will assess potential impacts to neighborhoods, recreation resources, wildlife and threatened & endangered species, vegetation, noxious weeds and habitat, visual quality, water resources and water quality, wetlands, hazardous materials, air quality and noise.

Impact Review and Approvals

Once the final CatEx has been submitted,the FHWA, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will decide to approve or accept the CatEx or require additional analysis.