Nov 15, 2018
Residents of the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods gathered Wednesday, November 14 to offer final input on the 47th and York Bike Pedestrian Bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, set to begin construction in the spring of 2019.
As one of the most advocated for projects in the Elevate Denver Bond Program, the bridge will provide community members safer, more efficient routes to key resources throughout these neighborhoods, including the Johnson Recreation Center, the Valdez-Perry Branch Library, Swansea Elementary and The GrowHaus, a nonprofit community marketplace and educational center.
“You have the school on one side, Valdez-Perry Branch Library and The GrowHaus on the other,” said Chris Pacheco, Deputy Director of the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative, the city agency that has championed the bridge for years. “It’s difficult for the community to get around,” he continued.
For more than a generation, the Luevano family has witnessed these difficulties firsthand, particularly when it comes to getting to and from the local school.
“I went to Swansea Elementary, and my daughter went there,” said Marie Luevano, who lives across the train tracks from the elementary school. On Wednesday evening, three generations of the Luevano women—grandmother, mother and daughter—came out to Johnson Recreation Center to learn more about the bridge, and to vote on the color of the bridge’s trim. The Luevanos unanimously cast their ballots for a concept with blue and orange accents. The Bronco-themed color palette received many votes Wednesday night. The color palette with the most votes will grace the north Denver skyline in 2020, when the bridge is expected to be complete.
The Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods have experienced closures, traffic and noise the last several months, but are looking forward to construction of this bridge.
“There’s so much construction out here,” said Luevano. “But this is one that’s actually positive.”