Denver to recommend PCL Construction Services Inc. to design, build the 16th Street Mall Improvement Project

The city and county of Denver has selected PCL Construction Services Inc. as the design/build firm to carry out the 16th Street Mall Improvement Project following an evaluation of proposals submitted in September by shortlisted firms. The city will now enter into negotiations with the firm and expects to bring a contract for design/build services to Denver City Council for approval in the next couple of months. If approved, reconstruction of the Mall is likely to begin in late 2021 and be completed by the end of 2024.

Free MallRide at Civic Center Station

“We’re thrilled to have reached this latest milestone on this landmark project that improves safety and mobility along the Mall and attracts commuters and visitors with interesting new spaces and places for people to enjoy,” said Eulois Cleckley, executive director of Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The contract we present to Council in the coming weeks will reflect a decade of planning and recent input from groups representing business owners, workers, community members and people with disabilities.”

A primary driver for the 16th Street Mall Improvement Project is the need to address deteriorating infrastructure that results in frequent disruptions to the transit system. Maintenance of the mall costs more than $1 million annually.

“Team members from across our agency have been working in lockstep with Denver throughout the progression of this pivotal project,” said RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson. “The news being announced today is a notable step in the process, and RTD will continue to lean in and listen as we collaborate with Denver to bring much-needed improvements to this important downtown connector, benefiting residents, workers and visitors alike.”

To honor the Mall’s iconic look, new granite pavers will be installed in a pattern similar to what’s on the Mall now, but with an improved drainage system and more surface friction to improve pedestrian safety. Visitors on foot will also benefit from 10 feet of dedicated, unobstructed sidewalk space on both sides of the Mall shuttle and adjacent to businesses.

“The 16th Street Mall is an economic engine key to our city, state and region, and investing in the Mall’s future is more important than ever,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “We are proud to be moving forward with PCL Construction Services Inc., a company whose deep understanding of the significance of the 16th Street Mall will help propel our commitment to building a premier public space that will continue to drive our downtown economy, attract visitors and serve as a gathering place for the entire community.”

The 16th Street Mall Improvement Project is anticipated to play a key role in Denver’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, providing the following benefits: 

  • Creating or supporting 1,479 jobs, including skilled trades and apprenticeships that will offer training opportunities for Denver residents currently out of work.
  • Generating $107 million in labor income (includes wages and salaries of workers, along with health insurance and benefits).
  • Generating an anticipated $261 million in sales (should not be interpreted as sales or revenue forecasts for any specific businesses associated with the scenario).
  • Adding $3.7 billion to the gross regional product (GRP). GRP is the regional version of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and is the single most useful and comprehensive metric for measuring economic impact.

More than $100 million of local, state and federal funds have been identified for the Mall project, with partners that include the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, Colorado Department of Transportation and Federal Transit Administration.