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Jeffco unveils design for second phase of West Quincy upgrade

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By Vicky Gits

About 130 people turned out for an open house on Nov. 7 to look at plans for the widening of a 1.5-mile stretch of West Quincy Avenue from South Kipling Street to South Wadsworth Boulevard.

The meeting was held in the cafeteria of D’Evelyn High School from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

One of the biggest challenges will be moving thirteen 45-foot-tall power poles. Xcel Energy has agreed to relocate the 115-kilovolt electric transmission lines on the north side of Quincy about 100 feet to the north, which will lessen the impact on the property owners on the south side between Garrison and Carr streets. They will be moved in fall 2013.

The project, which is now in the design phase, is expected to begin in the spring of 2014 and be finished by spring of 2015. A contractor has not yet been selected.

The plans call for 4-foot-wide, on-street bike lanes in both directions. An 8-foot-wide continuous sidewalk is proposed for the south side. Overhead streetlights will be added at intersections. The speed limit will be 40 mph, up from 35.

There will be raised medians with shrubs,  plants and deciduous trees. The south side will feature evergreen trees, shrubs, native grasses and ground cover.

West Quincy is designated as a future minor arterial in the county’s Major Thoroughfare Plan, which is available on the Transportation Division website.

In 20 years, West Quincy is expected to carry about 22,000 vehicles per day. Current traffic volume of 11,000 cars per day exceeds the existing capacity of 10,000, according to a Transportation Division fact sheet.

There are six private homes facing what is now a two-lane road. All will be provided driveway access going east or right on Quincy, since there is no access to the adjoining subdivision. In addition, they will get driveway turnarounds to discourage backing out into the four-lane traffic. 

The design phase is expected to be complete in spring 2013, followed by the acquisition of the right-of-way.

The $5.7 million project, including landscaping and construction, will be funded by the Southeast Jefferson County One-Half Cent Sales Tax Program and the South Plains Impact Fee Fund.

The open house coincided with the completion of the first 1ne-mile phase of the West Quincy Avenue project, which opened at noon Nov. 9 from Simms to Kipling.

The new road with bicycle lanes and sidewalks extends west from South Kipling Parkway to Nelson Road. Construction started May 8 and was completed about six days beyond the scheduled deadline.

Harriman Lake Park, at the southwest corner of South Kipling and West Quincy, which is operated by the Foothills Park and Recreation District, was originally scheduled to open in December 2012. 

The park was closed while Denver Water worked on reconstruction of the 138-year-old Harriman Lake dam. The dam renovation includes replacing, the outlet works, the emergency spillway and restoring 7 acres of wetlands. 

West Quincy Avenue, part two

People attending the open house appeared to be pleased about the prospect of upgrading the intersection at Wadsworth and Quincy, in particular the access to Costco.

One person was concerned that the bigger highway would mean more cars and more accidents. Another thought the design would make it more difficult to get into their driveway.

One of the biggest issues was a sound and privacy fence proposed to protect private-property owners from the four-lane road.  Some liked it but some thought it would interfere with the view of the lake.

Everyone whose property was on the fence line was sent a questionnaire asking them to indicate whether or not they preferred to have an 8-foot fence.

Transportation officials said if the majority of people wanted the fence, they would install one, but they wouldn’t force it on the residents.

There will usually be two lanes and occasionally three lanes open at all times during the construction process so private homeowners will always have access to their homes, according to the handout distributed at the meeting.

Comments can be sent to Brad Bauer, project manager, at bbauer@jeffco.us or by phone 303-271-8495.