Denver City Council approves construction contract for 16th Street Mall renovation
Denver City Council cemented the city’s pick Monday to do the first major renovation of the 16th Street Mall since it was opened in 1982.
PCL Construction Services, which was selected in January, will get the nearly $150 million contract to replace the granite streetscape, consolidate bus lanes in the middle of the mall, expand sidewalks and create “amenity zones,” where existing kiosks and other small businesses will go.
The 1.25-mile stretch is long overdue for upgrades, city officials have said. It brings in about $75 million in tax revenue each year.
The council also unanimously voted Monday to accept a $20 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation to help pay for the PCL contract, said Nancy Kuhn, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Council members did not discuss the contract before voting.
The Denver Post had requested in January to see all bids submitted by companies seeking the lucrative contract that went to PCL Construction, a Canadian company with its American headquarters in Denver. Kuhn denied it, citing a need to wait until council approved the agreement; the bid documents were not available as of Monday night.
The plans for the 16th Street Mall renovations drew mixed reviews from businesses along the stretch — some expressing concern that construction could drive away foot traffic at a time when businesses are already suffering, while others were optimistic that the renovations would breathe new life into the corridor.
City officials say the work, which is expected to take about three years, will create an estimated 1,500 jobs and generate $107 million in wages and benefits and about $261 million in sales.
While crews might break ground later this year, city officials said, most of the construction is likely to take place next year. A representative from PCL Construction declined to comment on the contract.