The City of Arvada and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners filed a lawsuit on June 1 suing the City and County of Broomfield for breach of contract and damages pertaining to Broomfield’s decision to pull out of the Jefferson Parkway project in 2020.
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2021-2022, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
An earlier version of this article that appeared in the June 16 edition of the Arvada Press erroneously stated that the proposed Jefferson Parkway would connect Highway 93 and the Northwest Parkway. While the Jefferson Parkway would be between Highway 93 and the Northwest Parkway, an extension of both the Northwest Parkway and Highway 93 would be needed to connect the two.
The Jefferson County Parkway is a proposed 10-mile beltway segment between the Northwest Parkway in Broomfield with Highway 93 in Jefferson County. The parkway would complete the Colorado State Highway 470 route encircling the Denver Metro area.
The project is estimated to cost $250 million to complete. The lawsuit filed by Arvada and Jefferson County states that between 2008 and 2019, taxpayers have contributed almost $16.8 million to the project — $6.3 million from Jefferson County, nearly $7 million from Arvada and $3.5 million from Broomfield.
Prior to pulling out, Broomfield was a voting member of the Parkway Authority for nearly 12 years. Broomfield cited environmental concerns pertaining to the parkway’s proximity to the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and former nuclear weapons manufacturing site, which was cited for elevated levels of plutonium around the time Broomfield left the Parkway Authority.
Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said that he felt the lawsuit was filed because the contractual statute of limitations was coming up, and said he was hoping the dispute could be handled internally before going to trial.
“Frankly, we were up to the statute of limitations, so we needed to file at this time to preserve our contractual rights under the original agreement,” Williams said. “We’ve been in recent discussions with Broomfield, and we’re cautiously optimistic that we’re going to get this matter solved short of having any trial activity.
“I spoke to the Mayor of Broomfield and let them know we’re proceeding with this,” Williams continued. “She expressed to me that she’s optimistic as well that we’ll be able to get the issues resolved.”
Broomfield Mayor Guyleen Castriotta said that the City and County of Broomfield was aware of the suit, but that she could not comment further.
Carolyn Romero, the City and County of Broomfield's chief communications officer, echoed Castriotta's sentiment.
"Broomfield has been, and will continue to, negotiate in good faith to seek a possible resolution," Romero said. "Broomfield doesn't have a practice of discussing pending litigation and has no additional comment at this time."
During a February visit to Arvada, Gov. Jared Polis told the Arvada Press that he was hopeful the project could still be completed, as it would provide safety and traffic relief for commuters.
“Right now, Highway 93 is one of our most dangerous stretches; we lose people every year there,” Polis said. “I think it would be a major safety upgrade when the project is completed, and it can save time for commuters, but just as importantly, it will decrease the traffic accident rate and save lives.”
Williams said that his goal with the negotiation was to secure the monetary amount Broomfield agreed to up until the time they withdrew from the project, and for Broomfield to transfer the rights of way needed to complete the project.
“Our aspiration is that the City and County of Broomfield will pay what they agreed to pay up to the time they withdrew and transfer over to the Parkway Authority the rights of way that they had acquired for the parkway,” Williams said.
Williams added that he felt that Arvada’s relationship with Broomfield had improved over the years.
“I think we’ve got a better relationship with (Broomfield) than we did when they announced they were pulling out of the Parkway Authority,” Williams said. "I think they’ve gotten better legal advice about their risk in this matter. We had to make sure Jefferson County was on board. I think everybody understands that they’ve got their respective positions, but there are contractual obligations that need to be met.”
A status hearing has been set for 7 a.m. Aug. 4 with presiding Judge Lindsay L. Vangilder.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.