Douglas County OKs plan for pedestrian bridge, trail over Parker Road

Project is slated to begin this year, connect to Arapahoe County

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A new trail segment and pedestrian overpass connecting Parker to more than 40 miles of trails in Arapahoe County will soon be underway after the Douglas County commissioners agreed to contribute $750,000 to the project in a Jan. 26 meeting.

The $7.5 million project will also be funded by the Town of Parker, Arapahoe County, the City of Aurora, the E-470 Public Highway Authority, the Denver Regional Council of Governments and Great Outdoors Colorado. Douglas County’s contribution amounts to about 10% of the total project cost.

Most of the segment of trail will be east of Parker Road and north of E-470, with an overpass crossing Parker Road. It will connect two portions of the High Plains Trail.

This project has been worked on for more than 20 years, said Chris Hudson, a public works employee with the Town of Parker, during the meeting.

“It’s exciting because it’s going to be such an important regional trail when it’s done,” Hudson said. “This is just going to be a continuation of that great regional amenity.” 

Construction on the project should start in the second half of this year with completion planned in 2022, Hudson said.

“470 is like a river for those trail users who are using the Cherry Creek Trail,” Commissioner George Teal said in the meeting. “What this overpass does, it allows them to have that connect between Cherry Creek going north into the other trail systems.”

In response to a question from Commissioner Abe Laydon about a portion of the new trail being outside of Douglas County, Hudson said he expects a large portion of the users of the trail will be residents of the county.

“It allows our residents that opportunity to make use of the trail system, to get north, to cross that river of concrete and speeding vehicles,” Teal said. “To actually get up into some of the amenities that there’s a segment of our population that wishes to ride a bike or perhaps even hike to.”

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