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Jefferson County officials are asking for the community’s comments on their plans to widen and improve Highway 73 just south of downtown Evergreen.
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• Plans for improving Highway 73 from Buffalo Park Road to Plettner Lane, plus a video explaining the proposal, are available on the county’s website at jeffco.us/jc-73.
• Comments will be taken until 11 p.m. Dec. 31 at surveymonkey.com/r/JRC6TFH.
The county says the underlying reason for improving the highway is to better facilitate evacuations in an emergency because the improved Highway 73 will be able to accommodate more cars. In addition, a traffic study shows that 16,000 vehicles travel on Highway 73 daily, indicating that the road as it is now configured is nearing capacity.
According to county documents, the design will widen a half-mile of the road to include a center left-turn lane in sections of the road, a southbound bike lane on the west side and a shared-use path on the east side. It will also provide four parking lots: angled parking across from the former church, parallel parking in front of the former church, angled parking across from Evergreen Fire/Rescue Station 1 and parallel parking south of the Highway 73/74 intersection.
The intersection of Highway 73 and Little Cub Creek Road also will be improved, and the left-turn lane for the second lane from Buffalo Park to Highway 73 will be lengthened to improve safety, the documents say.
The county has federal Transportation Improvement Program funding for the project, with construction expected to start in the spring of 2023 and taking about a year to complete.
The county considered widening the road to five lanes, but that plan was too expensive and too difficult because of a historical rock wall on the west side and Cub Creek on the east side of the highway, county officials said. The county also considered removing the traffic light at Buffalo Park Road and replacing it with a roundabout but ultimately decided the change was too expensive to implement.
To address concerns about wildlife that migrate through the area, officials say that breaks in the fencing on the east side of Highway 73 will allow elk to move through the area.
During construction, Jeffco officials promise that a lane of traffic will move in each direction during peak periods, and there will be flaggers to help move traffic through the area. Occasionally, full closures will take place at night.
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