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Here's what Denver is doing with the $937 million voters gave it

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Posted at 10:19 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 09:33:07-04

DENVER — The City of Denver released Tuesday the first projects that will get funding from a $937 million general obligation bond package approved by voters last November.

It's a spending blitz on 460 projects mostly related to transportation and mobility, but the following projects will get the funding first:

Transportation System

About half of the overall money from the $937 million bond will go toward transportation projects. The goal is to make Denver easier to navigate.

About $41.2 of that initial bond money will go toward transportation. The majority of that money will be spent repaving streets around the city, about $15 million.

Sidewalks will also be upgraded. About $4 million will go toward upgrades there.

The city is also working to add more bike lanes to make it easier and safer for people without cars to get around.

Other Projects include:
47th and York - Bike Pedestrian Bridge
56th Avenue (Peoria to Pena)
Buchtel & Colorado Blvd. Intersection
Colfax Corridor Improvements (west segment only)
Colfax BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)
Connecting Auraria
Bridge Rehabilitation (Park Ave - Bearings Only)
GES Pedestrian Improvements
Hampden Corridor Multimodal Improvements
Jewel Evans Station Bike/Ped
W. 13th Avenue Multimodal Reconstruction
Washington Street
West Colfax Transit Enhancements
Yale Station Pedestrian Safety

Cultural Facilities

About $65 million of the initial bond money will be spent on cultural facilities, including museums and the zoo.

The Denver Art Museum is set to receive about $25 million for its revamp of the North building. Construction on the building kicked off last year. The majority of the money for the project is not coming from the bond but for other sources like donations. The new building will include a big welcome center, large galleries, an education center and more. It’s set to be completed by 2021, which is the 50th anniversary of the Denver Art Museum. 

About $12 million, meanwhile, will go toward the Denver Botanic Gardens. It will be used for construction of the new Freyer-Newman Center. This center will be dedicated to art, science and education.

Another $10 million will go toward building a new animal hospital at the Denver Zoo, and $11 million will be spend on deferred maintenance for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Red rocks, the Buell Theatre and the Denver Center for Performing Arts are among the other recipients of the bond money.

Denver Health & Hospital Authority

The most expensive project on the initial bond list will be an outpatient medical center for Denver Health. About $45 million is being allocated to the project from the initial money.

 Once all the bond money is allocated, the hospital will receive a total of $75 million for its construction. The outpatient center is being built near Sixth Avenue and Broadway.

The total cost of its construction will be around $150 million, however the other half will have to come from other sources.

Safety Facilities

Along with upgrading the facilities the general public uses, the city is also planning on spending some money to revamp buildings that emergency responder use as well as some prisons.

About $1.5 million will be spent on improvements for jails around the county.

Fire stations will receive about $432,000 to upgrade their kitchens and restrooms. Police stations will receive some money for improvements, including a new District 5 substation.

Parks System

The city is working to beautify outdoor spaces in a big way and bring people outdoors. In order to do that, it’s allocated about $30.5 million to the parks system of that initial bond money.

The upgrades include new tennis courts at Bear Valley, a pool in Congress Park and Green Valley Ranch, a promenade at Arkins Court in RiNo and improvements to Skyline Park among other things.

About $6.5 million will go to the Paco Sanchez Re-Imagine Play park, which will include different types of playgrounds that include obstacle courses.

Other park projects include:
Bear Valley Tennis Courts
City Park Playground
Skyline Park Improvements
Irrigation Projects (Harvey Park and Pferdesteller)
Neighborhood Park Improvements
Recreation Center Improvements

Public Facilities

The library system will also receive about $5.3 million for renovations to the Blair Caldwell, Byers, Smiley and DPL Central branches.

Some money will go toward ADA projects around the city as well.

Approval of this bond money is expected to come in a few weeks. The second part of the bond money won’t be issued until next year.