May 25, 2021
Dear Community Members,We’re writing today in response to questions that the City has received about two stormwater improvement projects occurring simultaneously in your area that are impacting travel. We’d also like to update you on our latest efforts to keep people moving and reduce cut-through traffic on local streets.
It’s very likely you are already aware of the work we’ve been doing in the area of East 14th Avenue and Jackson Street. We’ve been installing larger stormwater pipes underground and a more effective system for capturing and managing the significant amounts of stormwater that flow through this part of town in larger storm events to increase flood protection for residents and businesses. We anticipated we’d have this project complete in early May, but weather – including the big March snow storm (4th largest in Colorado history) and recent rains – have resulted in a short delay in our completion timeline. We now expect to complete this project and open up travel along East 14th Avenue at the end of June.
Meanwhile, it was critical we stay on schedule and start work on another stormwater improvement project in the area aimed at increasing safety. This project is increasing the size of stormwater pipes that run east/west under Colorado Boulevard to increase the amount of stormwater we can collect and carry. The first phase of this project requires we close East 17th Avenue, just west of Colorado, for four to six months, as we open up the existing roadway surface and install bigger storm pipes underground. Before the year is up, we will continue east, installing new pipes underneath Colorado Blvd and start work along 17th Avenue Parkway, east of Colorado Boulevard. We encourage you to stay informed about this project and sign up for regular project updates by emailing [email protected]. You can also visit the project website for more info and to access the project hotline number.
This project at East 17th Ave and Colorado Boulevard marks the continuation of a backbone system we are building to ultimately reach and provide relief to well-known, documented flood areas that include 14th and Krameria, 14th and Kearney, and 16th and Dahlia. We’ve attached a couple of pictures of the flooding that occurs in these parts of town in larger storm events to alert you of the seriousness of the situation and the need to build these systems to protect life and property.
How we are responding to travel challenges
We are very appreciative of the many neighborhood residents who have shared ideas for making adjustments to the travel plan. We are actively monitoring our traffic control measures and have made several adjustments including many recommended by the community to better manage how people in cars flow through this part of town to reduce cut-through traffic on residential streets off East 17th Avenue. We have implemented additional traffic control measures that narrow 17th Avenue on its approach to York and Josephine and encourage only local traffic to continue on 17th Ave past York and Josephine. Please note this change will result in the loss of the RTD Route 20 Bus Stop at York/Josephine and we’ll be restricting right turns from northbound Josephine onto eastbound 17th Ave.
We do anticipate increased traffic flow on East Colfax Avenue, East 23rd Avenue and other east/west routes as 17th Avenue is closed for our project. East 14th Avenue will reopen in approximately six weeks, providing some additional relief. We ask for your patience as we make these critical safety improvements and hope you will recognize the significant investments the city is making in these areas of town most at risk for flooding. We know it can be frustrating when travel is impacted.