Infrastructure Projects at Wheat Ridge · Ward Station
Investing 4 the Future at WR · Ward Station
In November of 2016, Wheat Ridge voters approved a ½ cent increase in the City’s sales tax rate in order to fund investments that will improve transportation infrastructure, create opportunities for economic development, and enable additional “place-making” to attract those wanting to live in Wheat Ridge. The new sales tax rate went into effect January 1, 2017 and is planned for a 12-year period.
The Wheat Ridge · Ward Station area will receive $12 million from the sales tax increase, with which the City will address traffic growth and facilitate redevelopment and economic development opportunities in the area surrounding the G Line commuter rail station at 52nd Avenue and Ward Road. The improvements may include:
- Reconstruction of the adjacent streets -- W. 52nd Avenue, Tabor Street, and Ridge Road
- Installing a traffic signal at the Ward Road/Ridge Road intersection
- Building a pedestrian bridge over the rail tracks
- Pedestrian access improvements and other public amenities
Pedestrian Bridge and Multi-Use Trail
In March and April 2019, the City met with property owners and tenants affected by and adjacent to the proposed bridge and trail locations. In April 2019, City Council gave direction to move forward, and a consultant team is advancing a design to build a bridge over the railroad tracks and extend a multi-use trail connecting the station area to the I-70 Frontage Road. FAQs and more project information are provided below.
- Why build a bridge? A bridge over the railroad tracks was identified as a priority infrastructure improvement in the City’s Northwest Subarea Plan (2013), the 2E ballot language (2016), and the Wheat Ridge · Ward Station Vision Plan (2017). The bridge fulfills the City's connectivity goals and more specifically connects the station area to the businesses and employees on the south side of the tracks. The trail also connects to the privately-owned pond properties should they be developed in the future.
- How and where will you squeeze these in? RTD reserved space on the west side of the station platform to land a bridge. The City will need to acquire right-of-way on the south side of the railroad tracks. The multi-use trail is proposed to be accessed from W. 49th Place to the north and the I-70 Frontage Road to the south. In between these two points, the trail is proposed to be constructed into the slope on the west side of the Lakemont Center business park for which an easement agreement will be needed.
- What will it look like? Conceptual designs (15%) were shared with the public and Council in early 2019. These design will likely evolve as the project moves forward, but in general, the plaza area at the south end of the bridge and the multi-use trail will include irrigated landscaping and pedestrian lighting to create a high quality pedestrian amenity and to provide safe and convenient station access for all properties on the south sides of the rail road tracks.
Another round of meetings with property owners and tenants will be schedule for later this year. Conceptual designs are provided below as they were presented in March/April 2019. These images are preliminary in nature and the design may evolve and the project moves forward.
In late summer 2018, the City started designing improvements for portions of W. 52nd Avenue, Tabor Street, and Ridge Road. The scope of work includes the following:
- 52nd Avenue - Between Tabor Street and Ward Road, improvements on 52nd Avenue will include sidewalks on both sides of the street and a center turn lane. Improvements are being coordinated with the City of Arvada and Jefferson County whose jurisdictions border 52nd Avenue to the north. All improvements will be located within existing right-of-way.
- Tabor Street - Between 52nd Avenue and Ridge Road, the City will construct sidewalk, curb, gutter, and on-street parking on the east side of Tabor Street. Improvements will terminate just south of W. 52nd Avenue, and all improvements will be located within existing right-of-way. Improvements on the west side of Tabor will be the responsibility of the adjacent development.
- Ridge Road - Between Simms Place and Tabor Street, improvements on Ridge Road will include bike lanes, modified turn lanes at the Tabor Street intersection, and a sidewalk on the north side of the road. The City will need to purchase right-of-way to construct Ridge Road improvements.
A series of small group meetings took place in mid-January 2019 with property owners and tenants who are immediately adjacent to the roadway segments, and a neighborhood open house took place in early February 2019.
As of August 2019, right-of-way acquisition is underway and construction documents are being finalized. Because of utility conflicts and agency coordination, construction will not occur in summer 2019 as originally expected. The project will be put to bid in late summer and a contractor will be selected by mid-October. Utility work will begin in late 2019 with construction continuing in 2020. A more detailed construction schedule will be available once a contractor is hired.
For more information on the road reconstruction, refer to these documents:
- Project Presentation Boards
- W. 52nd Avenue - Existing Conditions and Draft Plans
- Tabor Street - Existing Conditions and Draft Plans
- Ridge Street - Existing Conditions and Draft Plans
For more information on planning efforts in the area or the G Line, refer to these pages: