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    Jeffco Continues Commitment to Beltway Completion: Postpones Legislation and Hopes for Return to Negotiations

    Jefferson County will not seek the proposed Beltway Economic Enhancement Project legislation during this year’s 2012 legislative session. The County Commissioners had sought the legislation, nicknamed BEEP, as a way to move the beltway project forward after months of parkway negotiations that did not end in agreement.

    The commissioners made the decision not to seek the introduction of the proposed legislation during the 2012 Legislative session at the request of the Governors Office and officials at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), who asked that all parties return to the negotiating table.

    Vision for northwest Jeffco

    Completion of the beltway is part of a vision for the northwest area of Jefferson County that will balance the critical needs to improve transportation and economic development opportunities with the desire to preserve regional open space and wildlife habitat.

    Jefferson County, along with officials from CDOT, city of Arvada, Broomfield and the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority spent 5 ½ months last year negotiating with Golden to mitigate their concerns and enable the beltway to be completed. Just before Christmas, the negotiations stopped when Golden left the negotiating table and walked away from committed roadway improvement funding for the city.

    The last remaining link will complete the beltway so it forms a complete circle around the metropolitan area. It would connect with Highway 93 north of Golden and extend northeast through Jefferson County to connect with the existing E470 near Broomfield. On the south, Highway 93 already connects with C-470 within Golden city limits.

    $58 million for Golden

    Golden is laid out in a narrow valley between the foothills and North and South Table Mountains. As part of the 2011 negotiations, CDOT, the Parkway Authority, Jeffco, Arvada and Broomfield identified $58 million to help Golden with existing traffic congestion. The improvements would get regional traffic off neighborhood streets that were never intended to handle so many vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians; and mitigate traffic noise. Most importantly, it would have enabled safety improvements to the dangerous intersections of Highway 6 at 19th Street, and Highway 93 with Highways 6 and 58 at the base of Clear Creek Canyon.

    Not a high speed superhighway

    The Commissioners’ vision is not to have a high-speed superhighway through the town of Golden, but to improve existing Highway 93 from the intersection with C-470 to its connection with the parkway north of the city.

    Coalition broadened

    Donald Rosier, chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, encourages all cities and counties along the Denver Metropolitan Beltway corridor to join in the conversation at the negotiating table. That could include Douglas, Denver, Adams and Arapahoe counties and numerous cities as well as the C-470 Coalition and the E-470 Highway Authority. He urged a quick return to the table, so if further negotiations with Golden are unsuccessful again, the proposed legislation could be introduced at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

    Preserving historic charm

    Commissioner Faye Griffin, born and raised in Golden, said she truly appreciates those residents concerns and their desire to preserve their historic city. She expressed the hope that Golden will participate in the negotiations so its residents can reap the benefits of the millions of dollars worth of improvements that were on the table, thereby ensuring the city’s charm can be enjoyed for generations with improved air quality and quieter, safer neighborhood streets.

    Commissioner John Odom hopes that the negotiations this time will lead to improvements and not just further arguments.

    April 30, 2012

    Last Updated: 6-13-2013