North Meadows Extension to be widened two additional lanes
Portions of the North Meadows Extension between I-25 and U.S. Highway 85 will be widened to four lanes prior to prior to completion of the original project.
Information and photos submitted by the Town of Castle Rock
Already the Town of Castle Rock’s largest roadway project ever, the North Meadows Extension (NME) is expanding a segment of the roadway from two lanes to four lanes – before the initial project is even complete.
On February 16, Castle Rock Town Council and the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement to widen the NME between I-25 and U.S. Highway 85 to four lanes total. (This portion will be known as Castle Rock Parkway.)
The need for the NME has been recognized since the beginning of The Meadows development in the 1980s. Over time, the project expanded to include a link not only to U.S. 85 from The Meadows, but also to I-25. The ultimate vision for the new road included four lanes, which was to be built based on traffic needs.
Still, there was a need to relieve congestion along Meadows Parkway. The Town, Douglas County, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and Castle Rock Development Co. partnered on the initial scope of the project and started constructing the 2-mile roadway with one lane in each direction.
Today, Castle Rock and Douglas County are continuing to grow. New residents and new businesses are coming to the area. To stay ahead of projected traffic increases, the section between U.S. 85 and I-25 will be widened to four lanes. Recognizing the importance of this work, the Douglas County Commissioners agreed to continue to help fund this portion of the roadway.
The total cost of this expansion is expected to be less than $2 million, of which Castle Rock will fund up to $1.25 million from cash available for the project, and the County will fund $750,000 initially. The timing of this expansion is designed to keep costs down.
Adding the additional lanes to the current project means significant savings on traffic control and reduces traffic inconvenience, compared to building it after the new roadway opened. Economies of scale are recognized as it is part of a much larger project, so most of the large equipment needed is already on-site and ready to work.
Pictured above is the flyover that will connect travelers from the west side of Santa Fe with I-25.
The design of this new portion is underway, and the new road is still likely to open this year. As always, weather in Colorado has an impact on any construction schedule.
The NME will help improve operations at the current Founders/Meadows Parkway interchange with I-25 and the intersection of Meadows Parkway and U.S. 85. It will also provide a second northern access for residents on the west side of town.
The project remains the Town’s number one transportation priority. It is a partnership among the Town, Douglas County, and CDOT.
The total cost of the project is about $81 million, and funding is coming from a variety of sources, including: 2005 voter-approved bonds ($22.6 million), the Town’s transportation fund ($12.6 million), Town building impact fees ($9.4 million), Town building use tax ($18.5 million), Town general fund ($1 million), Douglas County ($10.5 million – before the February 16 approved contribution), CDOT ($4.6 million), and Castle Rock Development Co. ($1.6 million). The Town’s additional funding is coming from already-recognized savings on the project so far. The County is funding the additional $750,000 from the four-tenths of one cent sales tax collected for transportation.
For detailed information on this project and construction updates, visit CRgov.com/NME.