I-25, University Blvd. to close during Obama-Romney debate

DENVER — A 6-mile long stretch of Interstate 25 will be closed near the University of Denver for five hours for the presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney next Wednesday.

It will impact thousands of motorists during the evening commute and the Colorado Department of Transportation is encouraging drivers to plan ahead to minimize travel disruptions.

The highway will be closed from 5-10pm in both directions between Hampden Ave. and Santa Fe Dr. Entrance ramps at Yale, Evans, Colorado Blvd., University, Downing, and Broadway will be blocked as well.

University Blvd. between Evans Ave. and Louisiana Ave. will also be closed during that time period.

The presidential debate takes place from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus Oct. 3. The arena is very near I-25 and University.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is expected to announce specific plans, including detours, shortly.

The debate will happen inside Magness Arena on the University of Denver campus. That is very near I-25 and University Blvd.

The Secret Service requested the closure to help ensure safety during the presidential debate.

“We recognize that motorists traveling through the area will experience some delay and inconvenience,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt.  “We are working with multiple agencies on the local, state and federal level to do everything possible to keep those delays to a minimum.”

See traffic maps and realtime delays and conditions here.

Here are alternate routes recommended by the Colorado Department of Transportation:

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)

OR

  • 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

OR

  • 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:
Wadsworth Boulevard
Sheridan Boulevard
Federal Boulevard
Broadway
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.

RTD  is planning to operate the entire light rail system on its normal weekday schedule. Some bus routes will have  detours due to street closures. Those will be posted on RTD’s website.