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47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge Starts Construction

Mayor Michael B. Hancock, Councilman Albus Brooks, Councilwoman Debbie Ortega, and community representatives gathered today to kick-off construction of the 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. During the Elevate Denver Bond Program the community was actively involved in public comment sessions to express the urgent need for this vital mobility improvement.

“The 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge was the most advocated for project when we went to the people for the improvements they wanted to see in their neighborhoods, and we couldn’t be prouder to deliver on that commitment to the Elyria-Swansea community,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “The bridge is the direct outcome of their advocacy, and it will mean a safer, more reliable connection right in their neighborhoods.”

Once built, the $15 million bridge will span 23 ½ feet over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at the intersection of 47th Avenue and York Street, providing safe east-west connection for residents, especially for children attending Swansea Elementary.

Last month, children from the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods broke ground on their own bridge projects by participating in a Build-A-Bridge Workshop hosted at the Valdez-Perry Branch Library. More than 20 children from local MyDenver Card Programs gathered to hear Wilson & Company, the firm designing the 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge, explain the science behind bridges. The North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative and Elevate Denver then provided youth with materials to build their own model bridges. The children’s designs were displayed at the community celebration held at Valdez-Perry Branch Library following the groundbreaking. Attendees voted on the best three model bridges and those children were awarded special prizes.

“This is not a City and County of Denver celebration; this is a celebration of and with the Elyria-Swansea community,” said Tim Sandos, Executive Director of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative. “It was important to make this occasion about the community; the children, families, and businesses whose daily lives are going to be improved by this bridge. Without them this would not be possible, and we are proud to be their partner in their efforts to improve their neighborhood.”

Jalisco International, the contractor building the bridge, has started to prepare the site and in the coming weeks will ramp up construction of this unique structure designed by Wilson & Company. The bridge features stairs and ramps in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will display LED lights and security cameras to promote a safe space. The site design includes a 3,500-square-foot plaza on the east side as well as landscaping and benches that create a community-gathering space. The project will be enhanced with $65,000 for public art from Denver Arts & Venues and is currently in the artist selection process.

The project team expects to open the bridge for operations by the end of 2019.