DENVER — Expect delays in the area of East 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard Saturday morning as crews implode a building on the former CU Hospital complex.
Dynamite will bring the building down at 8 a.m., but streets will be closed from 3 a.m. to noon.
Colorado Boulevard will be shut down between 6th and 13th avenues. If you’re traveling north, detour using Monaco Parkway. If you’re traveling south, use Josephine Street.
The building is gutted out, lined with explosives and ready for implosion.
“To some people’s surprise, it doesn’t go down in one big boom,” president of Saunders Construction Greg Schmidt said. “It’s a series in this case of well over one hundred separate charges that will bring the building down in sections.”
The decision to demolish the building using implosion was made over several months after the developers and construction team met with surrounding businesses, residents and city officials.
“Safety first and foremost,” Schmidt said. “It’s so close to Colorado Boulevard that spending four-and-a-half months taking that down piece-by-piece posed a greater risk safety wise than shutting everything down for a 24-hour period and bringing it down at one time.”
Construction on the site will also be a long process.
“We’ve got about another 12 months of demolition to go,” development director for Continuum Partners Frank Cannon said.
They’re hoping to have the entire project done in four to five years. It’s the same developers that were involved in revitalizing Union Station. Their plan for this two million square foot project includes residential, retail and office buildings, as well as a hotel and three-acre park.
“This is taking 12 city blocks of Denver and reusing it,” Schmidt said. “Adding some vibrancy to it, creating a 24/7 kind of experience.”
The developers and construction team are really encouraging the public not to visit the implosion site for safety reasons. You can watch live streaming coverage of the implosion on KDVR.com.