We interrupt our review of the Denver Union Station plan to bring you some breaking news about… Union Station (sort of).

The tail tracks that stretched past Union Station, crossed 15th Street, and ran along Wewatta Street to just before the bridge over Cherry Creek: they were removed this past weekend. Their removal is part of the grand plan for Union Station, and the timing of their removal was contingent upon other work on tracks north of the station being completed first.

The importance of the Wewatta tail tracks removal, however, is that the unhappy state of Wewatta between 15th and Cherry Creek will finally be fixed. That’s the last piece of Wewatta Street that hasn’t been reconstructed in concrete and reconfigured to four lanes. When Opus Northwest completed their 1400 Wewatta project in 2008, they did install nice wide sidewalks and streetscaping, but they still had to work around the tail tracks as it was too early to take them out. Meanwhile, there’s no sidewalk at all along the west side of Wewatta.

With the removal of the tail tracks, Denver Public Works plans to reconstruct this last stretch of Wewatta in concrete to match Wewatta’s 4-lane configuration between Cherry Creek and Speer, and north of 15th Street. They’ll also complete the sidewalks and improve the pedestrian crosswalks at the Wewatta/15th intersection. I believe they also plan to add left-turn arrows at the intersection. Exactly when all this will take place, I’m not sure, but I assume it will happen some time this year. Also, new traffic signals will be installed at 15th and Delgany, which will further improve mobility in the area and give pedestrians a sorely needed crosswalk to get to the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Here are a few pics I took with my phone yesterday afternoon. Top left: chopped-off tracks behind the EPA Building. Top right: former RR crossing at 15th looking south. Lower left: same crossing looking north. Lower right: stretch of Wewatta due for reconstruction.

2010-05-18_tracks1 2010-05-18_tracks2

2010-05-18_tracks3 2010-05-18_tracks4