Colorado Blvd

Client: City of Idaho Springs

Colorado Boulevard is the main thoroughfare that spans the three mile length of the City of Idaho Springs. The City assumed ownership of the roadway in 2015 from the Colorado Department of Transportation. With this transaction, the City also took on the responsibility for finalizing the construction of Phases 2 and 3, in addition to the ongoing maintenance throughout the corridor.

 THK, in partnership with the City and a Steering Committee comprised of community representatives; worked to establish an aesthetic language and good practice guidelines for construction methods for Phase 2, which had been designed by others. Phase 3 presented a new opportunity for the City to assemble a new Steering Committee and begin interacting with the Community on a more personal level than had been done during Phase 2, and Phase 1 in 2002. Over the course of nearly a year, THK worked with the City and the Steering Committee to conduct a public outreach effort which would ultimately establish a final design direction for the roadway, sidewalks, a portion of the Clear Creek Greenway Trail, a new vehicular bridge that crosses Clear Creek and expanding Courtney-Riley-Cooper Park by realigning the roadway. THK obtained public approval on urban design elements such as: aesthetics, special paving, site furniture, pedestrian and bike safety and circulation, public parking organization and potential planned park activities. THK has been retained as the project’s landscape architect and will see the final design through construction completion.

 A major design effort of Phase 3 involved proposing a segment of Colorado Boulevard be realigned. This was a contentious topic with the community because it was hard to understand and this proposition came promptly on the tail end of CDOT’s PPSL and Twin Tunnel widening projects, whose construction directly affected the community. There is an existing intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Miner Street that is configured in an awkward “Y”. This intersection also subdivides Courtney-Riley-Cooper Park, causing park users to have to cross two busy streets in order to take advantage of the different elements of the park. THK helped to establish a final design direction, which is supported by the community that will result in Colorado Boulevard’s realignment. This major design effort will help encourage traffic calming by the addition of curves, improve safety by eliminating the “Y” intersection at Miner Street, create more usable and connected park space and increase the space designated for the community garden.

 Construction for Colorado Boulevard began in early 2017 and was completed in September, 2018.