by Lisa Crockett
Getting from here to there. It is something most of us think about every day, and for a lot of Douglas County residents, daily commuting can mean a daily headache. In order to ease congestion and plan for future growth, new roads and the expansion of existing roads is an ongoing process.
North Meadows Extension
The roadway that has been of most interest to Castle Pines North (CPN) residents in recent months is an additional connection from I-25 to The Meadows community in Castle Rock. Though the actual path this connection will take has yet to be determined, the suggestion of a possible expansion of Happy Canyon Road triggered several residents of Castle Pines Village to search for ways to keep the expansion from happening.
In fact, according to documents obtained from Douglas County Public Works, this option has been deemed undesirable for several reasons, including “major opposition” from the community.
As things now stand, the most viable options being considered involve the extension of both Castlegate Drive and Atrium Drive, both of which lie south of Castle Pines Village and north of the existing exit at Founders/Meadows. These roads would be used to form a “diamond” interchange, which would connect The Meadows, Santa Fe, and I-25.
At this time, no roads in CPN are being considered in this project. The County will host an informational open house regarding the project on April 4 at Castleview High School from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
Plans are now underway to connect Hess Road, an east-west roadway in Parker, to the Castle Pines Parkway exit. Currently, Hess Road ends at Chambers Road in Parker. The Castle Pines Parkway on- and off-ramps were upgraded to handle the additional load of the Hess Road connection (running north from the off-ramp and then turning east) and the eventual construction of Canyons Parkway (which will run south from the off-ramp).
At this time, it is unknown when the Hess project will begin due to variables in the approval process from federal, state and local agencies. Sean Owens, project manager for Douglas County engineering, estimates that the earliest construction would begin on the project would be sometime in 2008.
Also working its way through the approval process is the construction of a Ridgegate interchange, just to the north of the Surrey Ridge off-ramp.
The Ridgegate project will likely handle the increase in traffic that will result from the planned closure of exit 191 and the Surrey Ridge exit (date of these closures is unknown, as these closures will work in concert with the construction of the other interchanges, and their dates are fluid at this time), though both exits currently handle a minimal amount of traffic.
For more information on any of these projects, go to www.douglas.co.us, go to “Quick Links” on the right hand side of the screen and click on “Road Projects.” Click on “Existing and Proposed Roadway Network for North-Central Douglas County.”