Construction of New Underpasses Begins in Boulder

Wed March 10, 2021 - West Edition #6

( photo)
( photo)

Construction has begun on two new bicycle and pedestrian underpasses at Boulder, Colo.'s 30th Street and Colorado Avenue intersection.

The intersection safety enhancement work began on March 1 and is expected to last for approximately 18 months. It should be completed in fall 2022.

The total project cost is estimated at $15.9 million, with $11.15 million provided by city and CU Boulder funds and $4.75 million in federal Transportation Improvements Program (TIP) funds approved by the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and administered by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

The city of Boulder has partnered with CU Boulder on the project, with the university contributing $2.4 million and a land donation valued at $800,000.

The city said the intersection was identified in the 2016 Vision Zero Boulder: Safe Streets Report as one of the top collision locations in Boulder with 86 collisions occurring between 2012 to 2016 and 18 involving a bicyclist.

The goal of the new underpass is to provide safer north-south and east-west crossings of the intersection for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The city said the project also will improve connections to existing sidewalks, bike lanes and multi-use paths; reconstruct or relocate existing transit stops; and install underpass lighting, landscaping, art and other urban design features.

The project also will construct the first fully-protected intersection in the city, which is an intersection that separates turning bicycles and cars and features corner refuge islands to slow turning vehicles and improve safety and comfort for crossing pedestrians and bicyclists.

"We're excited to partner with [the University of Colorado Boulder] CU on this important project that will improve safety for all users at one of the busiest intersections in the city," said Erika Vandenbrande, director of the Transportation & Mobility Department, in an interview. "The new underpasses and protected intersection improvements will enhance multimodal access and help our community make progress toward our Vision Zero goal of eliminating all fatalities and serious injuries caused by traffic crashes."

CU Boulder Senior Strategic Advisor Frances Draper added, "The university is delighted to see this project come to fruition with new and invaluable safety and access features at such a key intersection," said "Partnering on projects like this enables the university and the city to more effectively create benefits for our mutual community.

The city of Boulder said the 30th Street and Colorado Avenue area is an important travel corridor for the Boulder community, located just blocks to the east of the University of Colorado Boulder.

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