Commissioners survey road projects

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Construction on a roundabout at the intersection of S. Golden Road and Quaker Street is expected to begin in early summer, and be completed by the end of the year.

The project was among the county’s list of transportation improvement projects discussed at the April 2 meeting of the Jefferson County’s Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Transportation and Engineering Director Kevin French went through the 2013 list with the commissioners April 2. First on the list was ongoing work to improve traffic capacity and flow along South Golden Road, including a roundabout at Quaker Street, and roadway improvements between Quaker and Moss streets.

The rest of the roadway improvements are complicated by the narrowness of the available roadway, with any extra roadway requiring the shifting of power poles and parking lots, French said.

“On both sides of the road, you’ll see more space for pedestrians,” French said.

District 1 Commissioner Faye Griffin asked if the nearby NREL facility had followed through on a verbal offer to help pay for improvements along Moss Street. French said the federal laboratory had not yet replied to the request.

French said the South Golden corridor required the special attention because traffic projections show the road approaching as many as 25,000 vehicle trips a day in coming years.

Also on the county’ s to-do list was a continuation of FASTER Safety Projects. FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) is a grant program administered by the state to local governments for the purpose of improving pedestrian and alternate transportation infrastructure.

“We look at shoulders, curbs and sidewalks, whenever we can, to be done in conjunction with repaving,” French said.

Golden homes added

Also during their April 2 meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved a four-lot subdivision on the northeastern side of North Table Mountain near Golden.

A development of 34 residential lots was once proposed on the site, now called Wild Horse Mesa, but continuing access issues led the applicant to downgrade.

At issue is the land’s only access along West 53rd Drive, a cul-de-sac road that already serves more than the 35 maximum recommended by county guidelines.

There were plans of direct road access from Easley Road, but it would have required the land owner to negotiate with Jeffco Open Space, and with Denver Water for an easement and construction of a bridge over an irrigation ditch to reach the lots.

“It just didn’t make economic sense, even with 34 lots,” applicant Susan Tindell said.

There is an existing bridge over the ditch, currently used by maintenance crews, which both the applicant and Denver Water claim ownership over. The disputed bridge will be designated as an emergency evacuation route in case of fire.

District 3 Commissioner Donald Rosier said it would be wrong to place the entire economic and legal burden to provide a secondary road access to residences along West 53rd just because it was the latest in a long line of developments along the road.

He suggested instead, that the entire area look into a collaborative effort to improve access.

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