The final portion of E-470 and the Northwest Parkway has hit another road block. The segment of highway that will be named Jefferson Parkway, has been under discussion for over a year. Jefferson Parkway would be the roughly-11 mile length of road that would close the E 470/ Northwest Parkway circle that runs around the Denver-Metro area.
The latest detail to this long planning process was the announcement this last week that Superior residents have filed a lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service. The suit is based on the premises that the Fish and Wildlife Service did not provide a complete environmental impact report of how the segment of highway will impact the area and adjacent wildlife refuge. As 8z’s David Pennington reported in an article titled, ‘Another potential roadblock for Jefferson Parkway planners,’ “The lawsuit is directed at violations of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act as well as many parameters in the National Environmental Policy.”
Many environmental impact studies take years, requiring public funding to study, observe and analyze the current environmental conditions of the area to suggest several ways new construction could impact the area. Locals can already point to the impact the road would have on rare prairie tall grasses which grow in the area, as well as the habitat for he already-threatened Preble meadow jumping mouse – not to mention the four lane highway would block animal migration to the west.
Currently, the proposed toll road would be built along the eastern edge of the wildlife refuge. Funds from the sale of the easement would have gone towards expanding the refuge in another direction.
Now the environmental impact will be weighted against other pros and cons for the new highway. Superior residents were concerned about the increase of traffic the parkway would bring to McCaslin Boulevard. Yet there are advantages to the highway; the road would likely bring more business to the town of Superior.
So now the economic impact is being contrasted against the environmental impact. Keep an eye on RockCreekPulse.com and share your opinions about the plans for Jefferson Parkway. 8z’s Superior Colorado and Rock Creek team is invested in keeping you up to date as this story develops.