16th St Mall Makeover

16th St Mall Makeover

New remedies tried to improve traction, life of granite pavers on Denver's 16th Street Mall

Updated: 09/20/2011 11:43:15 AM MDT

New remedies tried to improve traction, life of granite pavers on Denver's 16th Street Mall

Updated: 09/20/2011 11:43:15 AM MDT

The view northwest along 16th Street Mall from Broadway and 16th Street, Monday, August 8, 2011. (Jakob M. Berr, The Denver Post)

RTD on Monday started a $1.8 million pilot project aimed at testing new techniques for cleaning and setting granite pavers on downtown Denver's 16th Street Mall busway.

As precursor to a remake of the entire length of the mall, which could cost $63 million, the Regional Transportation District is exploring ways to extend the life of pavers in the bus lanes, which get the most wear and tear.

RTD spends about $1 million a year repairing and resetting the bus-lane pavers, and the agency expects to integrate lessons learned from the pilot paver project with the broader rehabilitation.

The downtown pedestrian and transit mall opened in 1982, and its 400,000 white, black and red granite pavers were installed in a fashion to give it the appearance of a Western diamondback rattlesnake's skin when viewed from above.

RTD's partners on the wider mall project include the city of Denver, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the downtown Business Improvement District.

RTD's pilot program involves cleaning and resetting bus-lane pavers in the block between Court Place and Tremont Place and cleaning a portion of the pavers on the same block's sidewalks, said Jeff Cluphf, the transit agency's construction manager for the project.

According to J.J. Henrikson, the project's design manager, RTD's key goals include:

• Improving the "friction" of pavers to give pedestrians and vehicles better traction.

• Returning the pavers to their original color.

• Improving the stability of the transit way.

RTD's contractors will explore two techniques — "shot blasting" and "flaming" — to take a thin layer off the existing pavers and leave them with a roughened surface to provide more friction, Cluphf said.

For resetting the pavers, contractors will use several kinds of mortar and roughen the bottom of the stones to get better adhesion, he added. The agency also will experiment with two grouting techniques.

RTD is paying about $1 million of the cost of the pilot program, and the Denver Regional Council of Governments is contributing about $800,000 to the project's cost, Cluphf said.

The pilot program is scheduled for completion by late November.

One lane of the Court-Tremont block will alternately be closed for reconstruction of the bus-lane pavers, and some delays in mall-shuttle service are possible because of the construction bottleneck.

While work is being done, Denver will explore the electric lines that run under the roadway, and the Business Improvement District will lead an effort to upgrade one of the globe streetlights for better illumination and energy efficiency, said Cassie Milestone, the Downtown Partnership's urban planning manager.

RTD is seeking federal funds for the full rehabilitation of the mall, Milestone said.

Jeffrey Leib: 303-954-1645 or jleib@denverpost.com



 

 

No comments have yet been submitted for this entry.

Join the conversation by filling out the form below.

Your email address will not be displayed.
http://www.example.com

Contact Information

Photo of Roberts (Bobby) Johnson Real Estate
Roberts (Bobby) Johnson
Cool Denver Homes, Inc.
2314 Curtis Street
Denver CO 80205
Roberts Cell: (303) 525-7599
Fax: (303)9635335

Providing Real Estate Solutions Every Day!