Thursday, July 17, 2008

Will I-25 need to be closed on Thursday, August 28th?

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

We showed you yesterday which streets will be closed in Denver Monday through Wednesday of the convention. The press release from the Host Committee said that plans were still in the works for Thursday's Invesco Field Acceptance Speech. Today we're going to look a little closer at I-25 and what the move to Invesco could mean.

As you can see from the picture above, driving North on I-25 makes it look like you're going to drive right onto the field at Invesco. This picture was taken right before the Colfax exit.

View Larger Map

So now that you have a better picture of where Invesco is in relation to the Interstate, you should have a better idea of what the Secret Service is up against as far as security is concerned.

Here's what I think may happen:
  • I-25 is closed from 6th Ave to 23rd Ave during the event.
  • Traffic (and there will be a lot of it) will be diverted to Federal Ave which is West of I-25 (but still close to Invesco)
  • People will be urged to ride the Light Rail to get to the acceptance speech and to arrive as early as possible.
It's definitely going to be a show the likes Denver has never seen!

Update: I hadn't read the following Rocky Mountain News story when I wrote my post. Looks like I-25 will in fact be shut down.

A stretch of the busiest highway in the Rocky Mountain West, Interstate 25 past Invesco Field, will be closed to traffic the evening that Barack Obama accepts the Democratic presidential nomination at the stadium next month.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said Wednesday that drivers should expect I-25 to close the evening of Aug. 28, when the Democratic National Convention events move from Pepsi Center to Invesco Field.

"Yes, of course," the mayor said when asked whether it would be fair to say I-25 would shut down.

The typical detour for an I-25 closure in downtown would take traffic west on I-70 or Sixth Avenue to Federal Boulevard, a state highway. But there could be traffic restrictions on Federal, which passes within 880 feet of the stadium.

The closure of Speer takes away the busiest commuter route into downtown from I-25 on the north. Park Avenue, 20th Street and Colfax all carry between 20,000 and 25,000 vehicles a day, half of Speer's 48,000. Rerouted drivers would add to those streets. - RMN

Update: I incorrectly read the press release regarding the parade route and have removed it from the post. The info on Colfax and I-25 are still worth a look.