Divergent Diamond interchange

Illustration of the type of divergent diamond interchange proposed for Jackson Gap Street at Peña Boulevard.

Denver officials have postponed a vote on $93.4 million in renovations to the Denver International Airport thoroughfare Peña Boulevard. 

Denver City Councilman Rafael Espinoza called out the item during the council meeting Monday night, and requested a vote be delayed by one week to allow incoming council members to weigh in on the proposal. The City Council is set to welcome five new members on July 15.

“I wish the people that are going to be dealing with that for the next four years would have a chance to consider that," said Espinoza, who is leaving the council after deciding not to seek re-election.

The Denver City Council could now vote on the project at its next regular meeting July 15.

A 3.5-mile stretch of Peña Blvd, between Jackson Gap and the airport terminal, would be the focus of the upgrades aimed at improving traffic flow through the area.

The city is expected to award a contract to Interstate Highway Construction of Centennial for design and construction of the renovations. The project would see the boulevard's inbound lanes increase from three to five and outbound lanes from three to four. If approved, the work would start early 2020 and wrap up by spring 2022.

The project is the first of four phases of improvements over the next decade slated for the 17.2-mile Peña Boulevard.

When the airport first opened more than two decades ago, it was designed to accommodate 50 million passengers a year. But DIA passenger traffic has perpetually swelled, exceeding airport capacity.

The same is true of Peña Boulevard. Michelle Martin, the airport’s director of infrastructure, said the current capacity of the road was created for 50 million vehicles per year but already is handling 64.5 million annually.


Colorado Politics' John C. Ensslin contributed to this report.

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