How Much Does the Wadsworth Improvement Project Cost and How is it Funded?
In 2018, the estimated cost for the entire project was $45 million. Due to dramatic increases in both property acquisition and construction costs, the total project estimate grew to almost $60 million, of which $45 million is currently funded.
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 over $30 million toward Wadsworth improvements. The State of Colorado is contributing over $7 million and the City is contributing approximately $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.