Investing 4 The Future--Projects Funded by 2E
In November of 2016, Wheat Ridge voters approved a ½ cent increase in the City’s sales tax rate in order to fund investments that will improve transportation infrastructure, create opportunities for economic development, and enable additional “place-making” to attract those wanting to live in Wheat Ridge. The new sales tax rate went into effect on January 1, 2017 and is in effect until the earlier of $38.5 million is collected or 12 years (2028). The City expects to hit the $38.5 million cap in 2024 (three to four years early).
The four projects that will moved forward with funding from the sales tax increase include: improvements to Anderson Park and its facilities; installation of I-70 on/off ramps for the Clear Creek Crossing mixed-use development; widening of Wadsworth Blvd. into an attractive corridor for multi-modal use; and improvements to public infrastructure and amenities to encourage economic development and transit opportunities at the Wheat Ridge • Ward Station.
The temporary sales tax increase financed:
- Outdoor pool locker room renovations and lifeguard office
- Anderson building -- replace leaking roof, reconfigure the space to allow additional programming for fitness and wellness classes, and lobby renovation
- Sports fields -- new lights
- Pavilion area – new shelter and permanent picnic tables
- Clear Creek access improvements
- Parking lot and path improvement/resurfacing, waterline replacement
- Playground improvements and an art installation.
Clear Creek Crossing
Phoenix-based real estate firm Evergreen Devco Inc. is developing a mixed-use project between 32nd Avenue and Highway 58, along I-70, to include multi-family residences, retail stores, entertainment facilities, restaurants, hotels, a large anchor store and a 35-acre office complex. A trail system will provide connections to the Clear Creek Trail and Intermountain Health will relocate Lutheran Hospital to this campus.
The temporary sales tax increase financed:
- Construction of westbound I-70 on/off ramps
- Removal of the off-ramp at 32nd Avenue
- Construction of a connecting street to 32nd Avenue
Status: Under construction. Temporary sales tax increase funds have been fully expended.
In April 2016, the City of Wheat Ridge initiated the improvement project for Wadsworth Boulevard between 35th Avenue and I-70. The first phase, an Environmental Assessment, was completed in 2019 with input from the local community. Construction on the first phase of the project from 41st Avenue to I-70 will began in the fall of 2021 at a project cost of approximately $35 million. 2E funding, along with $1.25 million of additional Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funds, were used to provide the City’s local match for two federal transportation grants and a CDOT Main Streets grant totaling $19.2 million. Additionally, the City was awarded two federal safety grants with CDOT matches for a total of $4.7 million. CDOT has also committed $4.1 million in maintenance funding towards the project. Two other grants totaling $3.8 million were also received. Funding for construction in 2021 through 2024 is budgeted in the CIP budget, Fund 30.
The major components of the proposed improvements are to reconstruct the street to a 6-lane section; provide better bicycle, pedestrian, and transit facilities; manage driveway access to the street; and provide enhanced amenity zones along the corridor, particularly between W. 38th and W. 44th Avenues. A simple version of a Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) will improve the intersections of W. 38th and 44th Avenues. CFIs are an innovative intersection design that are increasingly being used around the country. In Colorado they can be found in Durango and Loveland, and will soon be built in both Douglas and Arapahoe Counties
Wheat Ridge · Ward Station
Status: Construction underway. Temporary sales tax increase funds have been fully expended.
With these funds, the City is addressing growth and facilitating redevelopment and economic development opportunities in the area surrounding the G Line commuter rail station at 52nd Avenue and Ward Road. The improvements include:
- Reconstruction of the adjacent streets -- Ridge Road, 52nd Avenue, Tabor Street
- Building a pedestrian bridge over the rail tracks
- Pedestrian access improvements and other public amenities