Connecting communities; economic opportunities
City of Castle Pines, Town of Parker, Douglas County, and CDOT officials weathered the cold temperatures on January 24 to take place in the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the Hess Road Extension.
By Lisa Crockett, graphic provided by Douglas County
After a lengthy construction period and a few delays, the long-anticipated opening of a vital new roadway in Douglas County has finally arrived. On January 24 at 11:30 a.m., with approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the County was able to open the final segment of Hess Road between Chambers Road and I-25.
Hess Road now connects to I-25 via the Castle Pines Parkway interchange, providing an alternate route for commuters going to and from eastern Douglas County and paving the way for economic access to the Castle Pines community.
Despite freezing temperatures and intermittent snow, community leaders from both sides of the freeway turned out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the road: County Commissioners Jill Repella, Jack Hilbert and Steven Boand; Castle Pines Mayor Jeffrey Huff and Castle Pines City Council members Tera Radloff, Kathy Des Rosiers, James Einolf, and Kim Hoffman; Parker Town Council members Josh Martin and Amy Holland; CDOT Region 1 Regional Transportation Director Tony DeVito, and Frank Jaeger from Parker Water and Sanitation District.
Commissioner Repella sees the new roadway as more than just a means for getting people to and from home each day. More than simply a transportation connection, she sees it as a pathway to a more connected – and prosperous – community.
“The long-awaited completion of Hess Road is being celebrated throughout Douglas County,” stated Repella. “It is a vital community connector, providing an alternative east-west route for motorists from Castle Pines and Parker and others living, working, and playing in the area. It is a critical link in the County’s transportation network.”
The new road was designed, in part, to alleviate congestion at the Lincoln Avenue exit. And while the Castle Pines Parkway exit won’t see the volume of traffic that Lincoln does, Douglas County engineers estimate that 8,000 vehicles per day will use Hess Road within the next three months.
“Here at the City, we’re going to closely monitor the ease of access off I-25 and we’re in touch with CDOT to make sure that the transition to more traffic is as seamless as possible,” said Castle Pines Mayor Jeff Huff.
The additional cars getting off in Castle Pines will mean additional traffic, not only on the roads, but hopefully at local businesses as well.
“What I’m most excited about is the fact that now a driver can travel from the city limits of Castle Pines to the town limits of Parker in about five minutes,” said Huff. “People on the western edge of Parker can be in our business district in about the same amount of time as people who live in the northern end of Castle Pines. Parker residents can easily enjoy a great Italian restaurant when they come to La Dolce Vita or a great steakhouse when they come to Duke’s.”
The road project was completed in several phases and involved construction of four bridges, eight water quality ponds, more than a million cubic yards of “unclassified” excavation, and an arduous 305,000 cubic yards of rock excavation. The final phase of the project – improvements to the Castle Pines Interchange – involved the construction of traffic signals, modified signing and striping, and ramp widening to accommodate anticipated growth in traffic volume.
In all, the project cost $19.3 million and should aid in overall traffic flow and congestion reduction. By 2030, it is anticipated that more than 30,000 vehicles per day will use Hess Road.