This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER (KDVR) — Bannock Street will soon be permanently closed to vehicle traffic in front of the City and County Building.

Mayor Michael Hancock announced Thursday that starting April 21, Bannock will close between West Colfax and 14th avenues.

The one-block stretch is set to reopen to pedestrians in mid-May, when the installation of about 24 tree planters and a street mural will be complete.

Credit: City and County of Denver

At that point, the planning for the second phase of the project will begin. The goal is to create a public gathering space that will better connect Civic Center Park and the City and County Building.

“As a city working hard to reduce vehicle traffic and expand multi-modal transportation – a city that invests in growing and preserving park land – this transformation just makes sense,” Hancock said in a statement. “Bringing our Civic Center up to the steps of the City and County building expands a civic space we are already very proud of into a more welcoming gathering place for generations to come.”

Credit: City and County of Denver

The project is part of the city’s Outdoor Downtown Master Plan, a 20-year vision that aims to “make Downtown’s parks and public spaces world-class destinations.”

“As our city becomes more populated, people are looking for opportunities to experience the outdoor urban lifestyle,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation. “Bannock will provide a new place for Denverites and visitors to socialize, recreate, celebrate culture and create new traditions.”

According to the city, its Department of Transportation temporarily closed this stretch of Bannock two years ago to test the closure’s impact on traffic patterns. The city found the patterns “could be effectively maintained.”

Alternate routes. Credit: City and County of Denver

The bike lanes on Bannock will be maintained, the city said.

All parking will be removed, including 12 metered parking spots. Two accessible parking spots will be relocated to the south side of the City and County Building.

The project will be funded through the city’s 2020 general fund.

“Bannock Street is a coveted space for the dozens of special events held in Civic Center Park and the surrounding area every year,” said Katy Strascina, executive director of Denver’s Office of Special Events. “We’re excited for this opportunity to improve the aesthetics and the infrastructure, so we can accommodate these events in a more efficient and sustainable way, while also providing an extraordinary space that can be enjoyed by people year-round.”

The city did not say when the second phase of construction will be complete.

More information about the project can be found on the city’s website.