Improve Wadsworth

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In 2016, Wheat Ridge voters supported a temporary sales and use tax increase to complete four projects. One of those projects is to improve Wadsworth Boulevard to relieve traffic congestion, improve business access, and provide better options for pedestrians and cyclists. Last improved in 1950, this project includes modernizing and improving Wadsworth from 35th Avenue to I-70 with efficient and safe intersection designs at 38th and 44th Avenues, safer entrances and exits for vehicles accessing businesses, and a continuous sidewalk on the west and a bike/pedestrian path on the east side of Wadsworth from 35th Avenue to the Clear Creek Trail. View the design for the area near the 44th Avenue intersection. View the bigger picture final overview.

In 2016, Wheat Ridge voters supported a temporary sales and use tax increase to complete four projects. One of those projects is to improve Wadsworth Boulevard to relieve traffic congestion, improve business access, and provide better options for pedestrians and cyclists. Last improved in 1950, this project includes modernizing and improving Wadsworth from 35th Avenue to I-70 with efficient and safe intersection designs at 38th and 44th Avenues, safer entrances and exits for vehicles accessing businesses, and a continuous sidewalk on the west and a bike/pedestrian path on the east side of Wadsworth from 35th Avenue to the Clear Creek Trail. View the design for the area near the 44th Avenue intersection. View the bigger picture final overview.

  • How Much Does the Wadsworth Improvement Project Cost and How is it Funded?

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    4 months ago

    The total project cost is estimated at approximately $45 million, 17% of which is the City's contribution.

    Wadsworth Boulevard is a state highway and therefore under the control and jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). While improving Wadsworth has been identified as a priority for more than 20 years, CDOT was unable to make improvements alone due to the lack of available funding. Therefore, in 2014 and in partnership with CDOT, the City of Wheat Ridge applied for federal transportation funds through a Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) grant to fund the improvements...

    The total project cost is estimated at approximately $45 million, 17% of which is the City's contribution.

    Wadsworth Boulevard is a state highway and therefore under the control and jurisdiction of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). While improving Wadsworth has been identified as a priority for more than 20 years, CDOT was unable to make improvements alone due to the lack of available funding. Therefore, in 2014 and in partnership with CDOT, the City of Wheat Ridge applied for federal transportation funds through a Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) grant to fund the improvements. This project received the highest score of all metro-wide project proposals and a federal grant of over $25 million was awarded to improve Wadsworth Boulevard.

    Following the successful TIP grant award, additional federal grants have been secured. At this point, the federal government is contributing almost $33 million toward Wadsworth improvements. The State of Colorado is contributing over $4 million in diverted maintenance expenses and the City is funding a little over $7.6 million in total; $7 million of which comes from voter approved 2E bond funds and the remainder comes from the City's Capital Improvement Program fund.

    In summary, only about 17% of the funding for this project comes from the City. Leveraging $7 million in voter approved 2E funds into a $45 million project is a great value for Wheat Ridge.


  • How is the Federal Government Involved?

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    4 months ago

    More than 73% of the total project funding comes from the federal government. This means that there has and will continue to be strict federal and state processes, guidelines and timelines that must be followed.

    The City and CDOT began working on improving Wadsworth in January 2013 with the Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study. The PEL study, which is usually the first step in a major transportation-related project, took approximately two years to complete and focused on transportation, environmental, economic and community issues. The study's recommendation identified improvements needed to add traffic capacity to Wadsworth, provide additional turning capacity...

    More than 73% of the total project funding comes from the federal government. This means that there has and will continue to be strict federal and state processes, guidelines and timelines that must be followed.

    The City and CDOT began working on improving Wadsworth in January 2013 with the Planning and Environmental Linkage (PEL) Study. The PEL study, which is usually the first step in a major transportation-related project, took approximately two years to complete and focused on transportation, environmental, economic and community issues. The study's recommendation identified improvements needed to add traffic capacity to Wadsworth, provide additional turning capacity at the key congested intersections at 38th and 44th Avenues, install medians to better manage access and make the corridor more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

    Many of the PEL study's recommendations were carried forward into final design. However, an initial recommendation included double left-turn intersections at 38th and 44th Avenues; a recommendation that was not carried forward as it was later proven to be inadequate to meet future traffic volumes which is a condition of the federal funding. Instead, these double left-turn lanes were replaced with single lane Continuous Flow Intersections (CFIs) which will best meet the future traffic volume projections and are therefore compliant with federal regulations. Additionally, CFIs have proven to be safer alternatives to traditional intersections and in this case, will require less property.

    The next phase of the project was to complete the Environmental Assessment (EA) to determine and mitigate the impacts of the project on adjacent properties. The EA process lasted more than 4 years and concluded in September, 2019 with federal approval of the project.

    Final construction documents are now underway. The project, as designed in the approved EA, must go out to bid no later than October, 2020. Otherwise, the federal funding awarded to this project is in jeopardy.

  • Did the Public Get To Weigh In on the Design?

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    5 months ago

    Yes. Since 2014, members of the project team have conducted more than 30 public meetings plus "block by block" meetings with businesses to create the final design you see today. This has resulted in more than 300 comments that have been tracked and considered. The final design took into account the input of the public, businesses, neighbors, and Wheat Ridge voters who supported improvements to Wadsworth in the 2016 election. It balances that input with state and federal requirements, which apply to this state highway, in order to fully fund the project.

    Yes. Since 2014, members of the project team have conducted more than 30 public meetings plus "block by block" meetings with businesses to create the final design you see today. This has resulted in more than 300 comments that have been tracked and considered. The final design took into account the input of the public, businesses, neighbors, and Wheat Ridge voters who supported improvements to Wadsworth in the 2016 election. It balances that input with state and federal requirements, which apply to this state highway, in order to fully fund the project.

  • Does the Design Change Access to Businesses on Wadsworth?

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    5 months ago

    The final design promotes safe access to businesses along Wadsworth with the addition of medians and new traffic signals. While left turns may be limited for safety in some areas of the corridor by the medians, safe signalized left turns will be allowed into major shopping centers at 36th, 39th, 43rd, and 45th Avenues. Cyclists and pedestrians also have greater access to businesses from the new sidewalks that will run the length of Wadsworth from 35th Avenue to the Clear Creek Trail.

    The final design promotes safe access to businesses along Wadsworth with the addition of medians and new traffic signals. While left turns may be limited for safety in some areas of the corridor by the medians, safe signalized left turns will be allowed into major shopping centers at 36th, 39th, 43rd, and 45th Avenues. Cyclists and pedestrians also have greater access to businesses from the new sidewalks that will run the length of Wadsworth from 35th Avenue to the Clear Creek Trail.

  • What is a CFI and How Does it Increase the Safety of Intersections?

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    5 months ago
    A Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) replaces a typical busy intersection by allowing traffic turning left to cross oncoming traffic safely, before entering the intersection and continuing on to the destination. The Wadsworth improvement project will have CFIs at 38th and 44th Avenues. When compared to traditional intersections, CFIs move traffic more efficiently and reduce the potential for a serious T-bone crash in the intersection.

    CFIs are becoming more and more popular in road design because they decrease the number of places at which drivers could cause a crash by turning in front of one another. In particular,...
    A Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) replaces a typical busy intersection by allowing traffic turning left to cross oncoming traffic safely, before entering the intersection and continuing on to the destination. The Wadsworth improvement project will have CFIs at 38th and 44th Avenues. When compared to traditional intersections, CFIs move traffic more efficiently and reduce the potential for a serious T-bone crash in the intersection.

    CFIs are becoming more and more popular in road design because they decrease the number of places at which drivers could cause a crash by turning in front of one another. In particular, CFIs are known to decrease T-bone crashes where a driver making a left turn crosses in front of oncoming traffic.

    Watch a video to see how it works.


  • Are CFIs Easy to Use?

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    5 months ago

    Yes. By following lane markings, signage, and other cars, drivers will intuitively know where to go to make a left hand turn as they drive along Wadsworth Boulevard.



    Yes. By following lane markings, signage, and other cars, drivers will intuitively know where to go to make a left hand turn as they drive along Wadsworth Boulevard.



  • Does a Design with CFIs Require More Property Than a Traditional Intersection?

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    5 months ago

    No. Our CFI design will move cars more efficiently and take up less space than a traditional intersection with two left turn lanes. This means the City will purchase less property at 38th and 44th Avenues than would have been necessary with traditional intersections at these locations.


    No. Our CFI design will move cars more efficiently and take up less space than a traditional intersection with two left turn lanes. This means the City will purchase less property at 38th and 44th Avenues than would have been necessary with traditional intersections at these locations.


  • Can CFIs be plowed during snowstorms?

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    5 months ago

    Yes. Snow removal in CFI lanes does not pose any greater concern than traditional intersections. As with all state highways, the City and CDOT will work collaboratively to ensure the improved Wadsworth Boulevard, including CFI lanes, is plowed during a snowstorm. While a final determination has not yet been made, it is quite likely that City staff will take responsibility for plowing the CFI lanes on Wadsworth Boulevard.

    Yes. Snow removal in CFI lanes does not pose any greater concern than traditional intersections. As with all state highways, the City and CDOT will work collaboratively to ensure the improved Wadsworth Boulevard, including CFI lanes, is plowed during a snowstorm. While a final determination has not yet been made, it is quite likely that City staff will take responsibility for plowing the CFI lanes on Wadsworth Boulevard.

  • How will this Project Impact Neighborhood Traffic?

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    5 months ago

    Because of the current congestion on Wadsworth, drivers "cut through" the adjacent neighborhoods to avoid sitting in traffic. This project will result in less neighborhood traffic by more efficiently moving cars along Wadsworth.

    During construction however, we know that neighborhoods will be impacted by drivers avoiding the project area. Our Police and Public Works Departments will work with neighbors to mitigate those impacts through community outreach and notification, good signage, temporary speed bumps, strategic placement of speed monitoring devices, and increased traffic enforcement.

    Because of the current congestion on Wadsworth, drivers "cut through" the adjacent neighborhoods to avoid sitting in traffic. This project will result in less neighborhood traffic by more efficiently moving cars along Wadsworth.

    During construction however, we know that neighborhoods will be impacted by drivers avoiding the project area. Our Police and Public Works Departments will work with neighbors to mitigate those impacts through community outreach and notification, good signage, temporary speed bumps, strategic placement of speed monitoring devices, and increased traffic enforcement.

  • When will Construction Begin and End?

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    5 months ago

    Construction may begin as early as fall 2020 and will take approximately two years.

    Construction may begin as early as fall 2020 and will take approximately two years.