By Eric Heinz
A feasibility study commissioned by the developers of the Fox Park mixed-use project in Globeville shows the plans to build a bridge connecting to Sunnyside would cost $12 million less than a tunnel traveling north.
Manuel Jiménez of the development team Vita Fox North LLP hosted meetings with the public before submitting the feasibility study to the city, which will review it for about 30 days before giving feedback to the developers.
The development team is planning to construct either a tunnel that would run traffic through Globeville under I-70 to connect to 48th Avenue, or a multimodal bridge that would run traffic through the northeast corner of the Sunnyside neighborhood at 47th Avenue.
“Both connections are feasible, that’s one thing,” Jiménez told The G.E.S. Gazette. “We also looked at neighborhood integration of the bridge and … the tunnel requires environmental cleanup.”
The bridge would cost about $28 million, whereas the tunnel would cost about $40 million, and Jiménez said the tunnel would enter into an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site.
“The duration of the permitting and the design and everything is a little bit longer and that’s why we accounted for more soft costs and hard costs for the tunnel,” he said.
As The Gazette previously reported, over the course of the next decade, Fox Park is planned to be transformed into a mixed-use urban hub with an estimated 3,300 units for up to 6,000 people to call home in addition to 34,000 square feet of retail, 80,000 square feet of culture and entertainment facilities, 14 acres of interconnected parks and open space, and other amenities.
The development area is also planning to host the World Trade Center’s headquarters after it announced last year that the project would move to the area.
“On the traffic side we showed how the connections would increase and decrease traffic on multiple streets on either Sunnyside or north Globeville and Chaffee Park,” Jiménez said. “I think some of the members of the community were a little concerned about the traffic. I think the findings show that, of course, it’s going to increase traffic on some streets but reduce in other ones, but overall both connections could work.”
The study showed the tunnel would take about four to five years of permitting and design review and take about a year to construct, whereas the bridge would take about two to three years of review and would take nine months to complete.