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Nov. 22, 2016 - Civic Area Park Construction Starts This Week

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016
Media Contacts:

Jim Winchester, Communications, 303-441-4247
Denise White, Parks and Recreation, 303-413-7258
Sarah Huntley, Media Relations, 303-441-3155

Civic Area Park construction starts this week
City to continue offering fun activities to keep central park vibrant during transformation

Exciting changes are coming to the Civic Area this winter, and a significant milestone – the start of construction of the park redevelopment – will begin this week.

The construction will occur west of Broadway, in the 13 acres stretching from Broadway to 9th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue. It is expected to start on Wednesday, Nov. 23 and last into late 2017.

The work supports the Civic Area Master Plan and a design that reflects values and input collected from community members during an engagement process that has occurred over the past few years. When completed, the park will feature an innovative nature play area near the Main Library, a new 11th Street bridge, enhanced planting areas along Boulder Creek and an open event lawn that will serve as a gathering and special event space. (Please see an illustrative fly-through video for more details.)

The city recognizes this is a popular area and that visitors need to be able to access services in the buildings located in the Civic Area. As a result, the construction plans call for sequencing that will allow all buildings and many areas in the park to remain open for recreation. Pedestrian and bike paths will be temporarily rerouted around construction zones and will remain accessible except during occasional work times. Users are asked to adhere to any temporary detours.

Some parking spaces will be removed during and after construction. These changes are expected to take effect on Monday, Nov. 28. While City Council originally authorized the removal of up to 45 spaces, the final plans call for the removal of only 20 spaces and the relocation of one ADA-accessible space. During construction, an additional 19 spaces will be impacted, to make room for construction equipment, but these will be restored upon completion of the project. The city is also continuing to explore the possibility of increasing and enhancing parking in future phases of Civic Area improvements.

Parking ambassadors will be available for the first few weeks of construction to assist visitors and direct them to alternate parking locations.

To achieve the goals of this phase of park construction (“creek at the core,” safety and enhanced lighting, path separation, site flexibility and viability to host a myriad of event types and park uses, to name a few), plans include grade changes, utility enhancements and some tree removals during the next month.  Portions of trees removed from the Civic Area will be repurposed to make future park benches for the final site.

As the crews start their work, the community is invited to continue to enjoy the park. Boulder Parks and Recreation is bringing back Snow much Fun this week in Civic Area’s Central Park, east of Broadway, with several winter family activities including:

  • Holiday Lights : The park area will come alive with more than 250,000 LED lights. Lights will be on display from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, beginning this week through Feb. 20.
  • WinterSkate Ice Skating : This season, the city welcomes the return of Winter Skate outdoor ice skating, presented by Boulder Creek Events. Winter Skate begins Tuesday, Nov. 29 with a grand opening celebration at 5 p.m.  Enjoy a performance by the Denver Figure Skating Club followed by a free community skate night from 6 to 8 p.m. on the rink at the 13th Street Plaza, next to the Dushanbe Teahouse.
  • Movie in the Park – “The Polar Express:” Bring the whole family to a free viewing of the holiday family classic movie The Polar Express on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Central Park. The evening will kick-off with a holiday sing-a-long hosted by Jeff and Paige, as well as free hot chocolate and train rides.
  • Explore and Learn Scavenger Hunt : Find hidden lights to learn more about trees in Central Park throughout the winter season. This self-guided activity is both fun and educational for kids and adults

For more information about the changes coming to the Civic Area and construction, please visit

This phase of Civic Area park improvements is being funded with $8.7 million collected through the Community, Culture and Safety tax. Boulder voters passed this temporary,0.3 percent sales tax in November 2014 to generate more than $27 million to improve community spaces, bolster cultural projects and organizations, and enhance safety. 

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