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Denver Drivers Need to Switch Routes During Wednesday’s Presidential Debate

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Obama vs. Romney 2012The City of Denver Transportation Management Center will be closing a five-mile stretch of 1-25 from Santa Fe to Hampden for Wednesday evening’s presidential debate at the Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus, as CBS 4 Denver reports. The roadway will be shut down between 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the debate begins at 7 p.m.

CBS notes that the estimated 50,000 vehicles that use that part of 1-25 during that peak travel time, the evening commute, will be directed into other streets, and drivers should expect some delays during the entire route, according to Director of Traffic Operations Matthew Wager.

Wager went on to say:

This event is a little unusual. We can see a fairly good representation of traffic city-wide. There are very few places in the city where we’re not monitoring traffic.

Authorities will encourage drivers to use other main highways like E-470, C-470, I-70, and I-225, CBS writes, but officials hope drivers do not use roads in residential neighborhoods: “We really hope that too many people don’t filter off into those residential type of streets where you’re dealing with being in front of people’s homes all the time with heavy traffic flow. We want people to be courteous and that all plays into planning ahead,” said Denver Public Works spokeswoman Ann Williams.

CDOT provides the following list of detours for drivers:

For southbound I-25 traffic passing through the city:

I-25 to Santa Fe Drive (US 85)

  • Continue south on Santa Fe Drive to Hampden Avenue and travel east/north on Hampden to I-25 (posted detour route)


  • Continue south on Santa Fe to C-470 and travel east to I-25

I-25 to I-70

  • West on I-70, connect to C-470 and travel south to I-25


  • East on I-70, connect to I-225 and travel south to I-25

For northbound I-25 traffic passing through the city:

I-25 to Hampden Avenue

  • Go west to Santa Fe Drive (US 85) and travel north to I-25 (posted detour route)

I-25 to I-225

  • North on I-225 to I-70, then west to I-270 or I-25

The following arterial streets are recommended if you prefer to travel on other roadways:

For east/west travel:

6th Avenue

Alameda Avenue

Yale Avenue

For north/south travel:

State Highway (SH) 121 (Wadsworth Boulevard)

SH 95 (Sheridan Boulevard)

SH 88 (Federal Boulevard)


SH 2 (Colorado Boulevard)

Monaco Parkway

To avoid the entire area, these routes provide additional options:

Southbound I-25 alternate routes

  • I-76 east to I-270 to I-70 to I-225 (preferred)
  • I-70 east to I-225 (preferred)
  • E-470 to I-70 or I-25 (tollway)

Northbound I-25 alternate routes

  • C-470 west to I-70 (preferred)
  • I-225 to I-70 (preferred)
  • E-470 to I-70 or I-25 (tollway)

University Boulevard is not a recommended route on debate day as it will be closed in sections at various times. Also, beginning at approximately 6 p.m. on October 2, Buchtel Boulevard will be closed from Franklin Street to University Boulevard with local eastbound access to High Street.

CDOT and Denver Public Works will minimize further delays on the day of the debate from construction and maintenance work, CDOT reports. And in addition to the five-hour closure of the five-mile section of the I-25 corridor, CDOT will prohibit oversize/overweight vehicles and “longer vehicle combinations” from traveling on the portion of I-25 between I-225 and I-76 between t3 p.m. and 11 p.m., and on US 85 (Santa Fe Drive) between I-25 and Hampden Avenue (US 285), as well as on Hampden Avenue between Santa Fe Drive and I-25 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

CDOT will provide free motorists assistance services on I-25 all day on October 3, CDOT writes. The entire light-rail system will be on its normal weekday schedule, but bus routes will experience detours because of street closures. You can find more information at the Regional Transportation District’s website:

And you can see maps of alternate driving routes at

“Please remember that all closures, dates and times are subject to change and delays are to be expected throughout the system,” CDOT writes.