The City and County of Broomfield adopted its 2020 budget — which includes some funding proposed to go to the Jefferson Parkway — with a six-to-three vote on Oct. 22. However, “the money (for …
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The City and County of Broomfield adopted its 2020 budget — which includes some funding proposed to go to the Jefferson Parkway — with a six-to-three vote on Oct. 22.
However, “the money (for the Jefferson Parkway) is put in the budget as a placeholder,” said Councilmember Mike Shelton. “It doesn’t commit us to spending it — not a penny. That’s a decision we would make at some other point.”
The Jefferson Parkway is a proposed toll road intended to close the gap between state highways 93 and 128. The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) had hoped to break ground on its proposed tollway next year, using a requested $7.5 million total from its three government members to finish the design and contract approval process known as Request for Proposals (RFP).
Jefferson County included its $2.5 million in its 2019 budget, and Arvada approved its $2.5 million in April on a 5-1 vote.
The JPPHA would own the Jefferson Parkway, and the private partner selected would design, build, operate and maintain the parkway.
During discussion on Oct. 22, Shelton added that no matter what happens with the RFP, “it doesn’t guarantee that the project will go forward. And withholding the money doesn’t mean the project stops, either.”
Aside from the Broomfield funding decision, another issue will further delay the project. Earlier this year, the JPPHA launched a soil study of the portion of the parkway route that will run along the former Rocky Flats site.
Analyzers found a plutonium hotspot in August, which tested for 264 pCi/g of plutonium, as opposed to the state safety limit of 50 pCi/g. 25 samples of the same area came back in October and showed much lower levels around 1.5 pCi/g.
The study will continue through the end of 2019 and will include approximately 250 samples. The JPPHA has said it will not make any decisions about the parkway’s future until all of the results are in and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has given direction on next steps.
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