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Denver International Airport Toll Plaza - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member IJAdventures
N 39° 50.013 W 104° 43.391
13S E 523686 N 4409319
Quick Description: Between 1995 and 1999, all traffic to Denver International Airport passed through toll booths to and from the terminal. This toll plaza now sits empty in the median awaiting new tenants.
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 7/7/2012 2:26:13 PM
Waymark Code: WMETY7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
Views: 17

Long Description:
In the dividing median along Peña Boulevard sits a lone building with no distinguishing markings. A sign that simply states "Plaza" points vehicles to a barely seen exit on the left side of the highway. So why is there an abandoned building in the middle of the main artery leading to Denver's world class airport?

When Denver International Airport (DIA) opened in 1995, everyone going to the terminal picked up a time-stamped ticket and paid a toll on the way out (no charge if you left within 70 minutes). However, over 60% of vehicles left within the grace period but still had to go through the "access plazas" causing bottleneck congestion.

In 2000 a new system was set up that relocated the toll stations closer to the terminal within the parking areas. This allowed vehicles to drive directly to the terminal to drop-off or pick-up passengers (with no fee). Most of the old toll booths have been demolished and the main plaza building sits as the only reminder of the original failed system (to the delight of thousands of unknowing motorists every day).

There have been plans to turn the building into something useful, such as a tourist information center or perhaps a coffee shop (drive thru already included!). An article by Jonathan Shikes (click here) humorously suggests a State Patrol Annex ("We see you, Mister Highway Patrolman") or recording studio ("Now you can buy the best of the Airport [concourse] Entertainers") as possible uses. However, over a decade later, the building still sits empty as a puzzling sight to all who pass by.

Update (October 2012): There is now a sign at the plaza restricting access to "authorized and emergency vehicles only". However you should still be able to get a photo from the 45-minute parking area on the other side of the road.

Sources: MESalek.com, Interstate Highway Construction and The Denver Post

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