DENVER — You may not think twice when passing by the nine homes tucked away near South Lincoln Street and East Ohio Avenue, but their place in the I-25 and South Broadway improvement project has advocates — and homeowners — worried.
"Even just looking at this place, without knowing about this project, I know that this location probably will be become something else," Ashley Brinegar said Thursday.
Brinegar purchased her home in September 2022, and she and her realtor had little knowledge then about what may become of it.
There are plans to demolish Brinegar's home, along with eight others, to make way for a new northbound I-25 access ramp. The plans were released in 2008 as part of the South Broadway Environmental Assessment.
A spokesperson with the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) confirms they don't yet have funding for this part of the project and don't have immediate plans to pursue its funding. However, the second phase to replace the southbound on-ramp on I-25 from Broadway and extend Bannock Street starts this spring.
"Construction is about to start here. I mean, we're really at the 11th hour. They all but have the shovels in the ground," West Washington Park Neighborhood Association president Amy Kenreich said.
She and other neighborhood groups created a petitionto convince DOTI and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to pause and redesign the project.
"There's been mounting concerns, especially as the project is about to start. Now, we're very concerned that none of our concerns have been addressed," Kenreich said.
They worry the project, which DOTI says aims to "create a safe and efficient area for all transportation modes," will do the opposite. Kenreich worries pedestrians will have to cross more than a dozen lanes of traffic to get to RTD's Broadway Station.
Denver City Councilwoman Deborah Ortega expressed similar concerns in a letterwritten to the executive director of DOTI.
"We're just pleading for a safe way for people that are not inside of a vehicle to walk or ride their bike or use a cane or use a wheelchair scooter to get from here to the light rail station and all of the bus stops," Kenreich said.
A DOTI spokesperson sent Denver7 the following statement regarding the concerns listed in the petition:
DOTI has met with community leaders and will continue to do so to hear and understand their concerns. Phase II of the project includes multimodal improvements to enhance safety and connectivity and we’re looking at ways to further incorporate community feedback.
Regardless of what happens, Brinegar and Kenreich hope the city will be more forthcoming moving forward, especially about the future of the nine homes south of Ohio Avenue.
"I'm not upset about it," Brinegar said. "But it would be nice to kind of understand where we are in the process, exactly what the potential is, when the timeline would be."