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New Arapahoe Underpass


The Boulder Creek Path underpass at Arapahoe has reopened to cyclists and pedestrians following construction to improve safety and reduce flooding.

Improvements to the renovated underpass, located at Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street, include:

  • widening the path from 10 feet to 14 feet;
  • improving turn visability and lighting to improve safety and reduce the potential for collisions;
  • making the path less steep to improve safety and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, reducing the grade from as much as 14% to less than 5%; and
  • improving flood resiliency to minimize path closures due to water.

With these improvements, the new underpass reduces the risk of collisions and the likelihood of closures.

Tight turns and poor lighting at the prior underpass created the potential for collisions or close calls and caused some users to avoid the underpass because they did not feel safe. The underpass was also highly prone to closures due to water. In 2015, the underpass was closed due to high water from May to July. Closures divert more pedestrians and bicycles to the on-street crossing at Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street, increasing the opportunity for collisions.

With funding from city transportation funds and the 2014 voter-approved Community, Culture and Safety tax, the $5 million project design for a new underpass was approved in 2017.

Boulder boasts over 80 underpasses in its effort to increase transportation access and safety around the city. These underpasses support Vision Zero, Boulder's goal of zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries because one traffic-related fatality is one too many. Visit the city's Transportation Master Plan to learn more about the city's transportation goals. 

Thank you to all community members for your continued patience during construction. Tree plantings, landscaping and stream bank restoration work around the underpass will be completed later this summer and fall.

Published: June 25, 2019