Construction project to reduce dozens of murals to rubble

DENVER – About 60 murals on one Denver street are about to be torn down to make way for a major highway construction project.

The Central 70 Project is a four-year project to revitalize and rebuild about 10 miles of aging infrastructure on I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road.

One of the key components of the facelift is removing the bridge where I-70 runs on top of 46th Ave. and replacing it with a stretch of highway that will run 30 feet underground.

“That all needs to be rebuilt and in order to do that safely we need to close a small stretch of 46th Avenue,” CDOT spokeswoman Rebecca White told FOX31.

Beginning at 5 a.m. Mon., Sept. 16, 46th Avenue between Brighton Boulevard and York Street will be permanently closed.

The closure means the “duct-work” art installation in the viaduct will be inaccessible to the public.

In 2016, Denver Urban Arts Fund contracted out about 20 local artists to paint around 60 murals on the concrete walls of the viaduct.

The goal was to brighten up the dark and dingy street and make it a more welcoming, safe and clean environment for those traveling through.

Soon after construction on the bridge project begins, the murals will be reduced to rubble.

“It’ll be gone. All those walls and pillars have to be removed for the project,” White said. “It was always meant to be temporary and the artists knew that. It’s pretty common for urban art that it’s up for a few years and then moves on so we’re sad to see it go.”

When that portion of the Central 70 Project is finished in about four years, there won’t be a concrete canvas to repaint. A ground level park will be built atop the newly buried lanes of I-70.

“That neighborhood sees that pretty dark, awful structure go away and what is returned to them is essentially a four-acre green space that is developed out of thin air,” White said.

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