Infrastructure Projects at Wheat Ridge · Ward Station
Investing 4 the Future and Renewal Wheat Ridge Bonds at WR · Ward Station
Several infrastructure projects are planned in the the Wheat Ridge · Ward Station area. The projects will address traffic growth and facilitate redevelopment and economic development opportunities in the area surrounding the G Line commuter rail station at 52nd Avenue and Ward Road. The improvements will include:
- Reconstruction of W. 52nd Avenue, Tabor Street, and Ridge Road;
- Construction of a pedestrian bridge over the rail tracks; and
- Additional pedestrian access improvements.
These projects were initially funded by a voter-approved bond. In November of 2016, Wheat Ridge voters approved a ½ cent increase in the City’s sales tax rate which went into effect January 1, 2017 and is planned for a 12-year period. Additionally, Renewal Wheat Ridge issued bonds in 2021 and will contribute funds to help complete the construction of these station-area projects.
Pedestrian Bridge and Multi-Use Trail
In 2019 and 2022, the City met with property owners and tenants affected by and adjacent to the proposed bridge and trail locations. In 2022, after being paused due to COVID-19, the consultant team restarted the design to build a bridge over the railroad tracks and extend a multi-use trail connecting the station area to the I-70 Frontage Road. FAQs and more project information are provided below.
- Why build a bridge? A bridge over the railroad tracks was identified as a priority infrastructure improvement in the City’s Northwest Subarea Plan (2013), the 2E ballot language (2016), and the Wheat Ridge · Ward Station Vision Plan (2017). The bridge fulfills the City's connectivity goals and more specifically connects the station area to the businesses and employees on the south side of the tracks. The trail also connects to the privately-owned pond properties when they are developed in the future.
- How and where will you squeeze these in? RTD reserved space on the west side of the station platform to land a bridge. The City will need to acquire right-of-way on the south side of the railroad tracks. The multi-use trail is proposed to be accessed from W. 49th Place to the north and the I-70 Frontage Road to the south. In between these two points, the trail is proposed to be constructed into the slope on the west side of the Lakemont Center business park for which property will be needed.
- What will it look like? Conceptual designs are available for viewing. These design will continue to evolve as the project moves forward, but in general, the plaza area at the south end of the bridge and the multi-use trail will include irrigated landscaping and pedestrian lighting to create a high quality pedestrian environment and to provide safe and convenient station access for all properties on the south sides of the rail road tracks.
The design for these projects was put on hold in 2020 for a variety of COVID-related reasons and a need to shift staff and financial resources to other Investing 4 the Future capital improvement projects. In early 2022, the design of the projects was restarted utilizing funding that was received from Renewal Wheat Ridge that is sourced from property tax increment financing bonds. In addition, in June 2022, the City applied for federal transportation funding that could provide up to $8 million in construction funding for these projects. The funding is expected to be awarded in September 2022. Utilizing federal funds causes some additional delays to the schedule to due to regulatory requirements, but saves City funds. The construction plans and property acquisition are expected to be completed by Summer 2023 with construction starting in Fall 2023.
In late summer 2018, the City started designing improvements for portions of W. 52nd Avenue, Tabor Street, and Ridge Road. The scope of work includes the following:
- 52nd Avenue - Between Tabor Street and Ward Road, improvements on 52nd Avenue will include sidewalks on both sides of the street and a center turn lane. Improvements are being coordinated with the City of Arvada and Jefferson County whose jurisdictions border 52nd Avenue to the north. All improvements will be located within existing right-of-way.
- Tabor Street - Between 52nd Avenue and Ridge Road, the City will construct sidewalk, curb, gutter, and on-street parking on the east side of Tabor Street. Improvements will terminate at W. 52nd Avenue, and all improvements will be located within existing right-of-way. Improvements on the west side of Tabor will be the responsibility of the adjacent developments.
- Ridge Road - Between Simms Place and Tabor Street, improvements on Ridge Road will include bike lanes, modified turn lanes at the Tabor Street intersection, and a sidewalk on the north side of the road. The City has already purchased right-of-way to construct the Ridge Road improvements.
A series of small group meetings took place in 2019 with property owners and tenants who are immediately adjacent to the street segments, and a neighborhood open house was also held in 2019.
Right-of-way acquisition was completed for the five (5) affected properties along Ridge Road in 2019. In 2020, some utility work was completed, including relocation of utility poles. The project was put on hold in 2020 for a variety of COVID-related reasons and a need to shift staff and financial resources to other Investing 4 the Future capital improvement projects.
In early 2021, City Council gave direction to reengage the design consultant to finalize designs and construction documents, and the design of the projects has been completed. Also in 2021, funding from both the City of Arvada and the Colorado Department of Transportation was received to partially fund the construction of the streets. The City’s share of the construction funding will be from Renewal Wheat Ridge using funds that are sourced from property tax increment financing bonds. Construction of the streets is expected to start by the end of 2022.
For more information on the road reconstruction, refer to these documents:
- Project Presentation Boards
- W. 52nd Avenue - Existing Conditions and Draft Plans
- Tabor Street - Existing Conditions and Draft Plans
- Ridge Street - Existing Conditions and Draft Plans
For questions contact Mark Westberg, Engineering Project Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on planning efforts in the area or the G Line, refer to these pages: