Arvada supporting tollway to the tune of $2 million

More funds for Jefferson Parkway approved 5-1

Posted 4/18/19

The proposed Jefferson Parkway is proceeding towards becoming a reality, and one Jeffco municipality just provided significant funding to help it along. At an April 1 Arvada City Council meeting, a …

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Arvada supporting tollway to the tune of $2 million

More funds for Jefferson Parkway approved 5-1

Posted

The proposed Jefferson Parkway is proceeding towards becoming a reality, and one Jeffco municipality just provided significant funding to help it along.

At an April 1 Arvada City Council meeting, a vote to provide $2 million of funding for the proposed parkway passed 5-to-1. Councilmember Nancy Ford voted no and Councilmember Mark McGoff was absent.

The Jefferson Parkway “is going to happen,” said Councilmember Bob Fifer. “It’s just (a matter of) how do we shape it and how do we evolve it into something that doesn’t divide a community but hopefully builds a community.”

The Jefferson Parkway is a proposed toll road intended to stretch from State Highway 128 in Broomfield and State Highway 93 near West 58th Avenue, north of Golden.

The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) is made up of representatives from Jefferson County, the city and county of Broomfield and the city of Arvada. The JPPHA board also has two non-voting members — representatives from the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Regional Air Quality Council.

The JPPHA or its members control all but about a 1/2 acre of the property needed for the right of ways, said Bill Ray, executive director of the JPPHA. He added that negotiations are currently taking place with the owner of the property needed.

When the JPPHA formed in May 2008, the voting member governments each gave $100,000 for initial startup funding. In 2016, each governmental agency agreed to contribute a reimbursable $400,00 each — a total of $1.2 million — in both 2017 and 2018, Ray said.

The authority’s earlier timelines have construction of the parkway starting as early as 2020. Once the toll road is open, Ray said that the authority members like Arvada will begin to see some of the road revenue.

“There are intergovernmental agreements between the authority and each of its members documenting the funds, staff time and value of land being advanced to the authority,” Ray said, “which will be reimbursed over time once the Parkway is in operation.”

Arvada opposition

Not all Arvada residents are happy with the parkway’s progress.

About 140 homes in the Leyden Rock community of Arvada will be immediately adjacent to the proposed tollway’s right of way, only about 60-to-140 feet distance from it, said Jeffrey Staniszewski, group leader for the neighborhood group, Movement To Stop Jefferson Parkway.

Staniszewski has lived in Leyden Rock for about two years. He said loss of home value because of the tollway is the least serious concern for most of the residents in the Leyden Rock community.

“There are no definitive plans for emergency services (access) or how children would be protected” from playing too close to the highway, Staniszewski said.

Others oppose the construction of the Jefferson Parkway because of its proximity to Rocky Flats. The roadway cuts along the eastern edge of the old Cold War weapons site, raising concerns about plutonium particles being stirred up into the dust during construction work.

“The danger is when you breathe it in,” said Bonnie Graham-Reed, referring to plutonium, who has lived in Arvada for 40 years. The Jefferson Parkway “will most certainly stir up dust that has plutonium particles in it.”

Supporters of the new tollway say the area’s growth around Leyden Rock and Candelas is one of the things making the new road a necessity.

“It would do all of the citizens a dis-service if we didn’t follow through with it because the roads are not going to get fixed — Indiana, 64, Highway 72, Highway 93,” Fifer said at the April 1 meeting. “We cannot depend on CDOT or the state to come and save the day for these issues” of transportation funding.

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