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OSMP Projects

The City of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) Department will highlight large projects for 2018 on this page. 

Xcel Transmission Line Replacement Project

Starting as early as Monday, July 23, Xcel will continue using a helicopter to install new transmission lines after several weeks of responding to wildfires on Colorado’s Western Slope. This upcoming work is anticipated to be completed by Thursday, July 26. 
Because of the complex nature of the upcoming transmission line work next week, OSMP will again close the South Mesa Trailhead and these following trails while this work occurs:

  • The Towhee, Homestead, Mesa Connector, Big Bluestem and Upper Big Bluestem trails.
  • Portions of the Mesa, Lower Big Bluestem, South Fork Shanahan and North Fork Shanahan trails.

View a map of the upcoming closures pdf. Because of the rugged location of transmission lines in Bear Canyon, longer-term trail closures in the area are likely to occur beginning in August. OSMP recognizes the impacts this transmission line work is having on residents and visitors, and we appreciate your patience while this work occurs.

Xcel’s work is occurring along its right-of-way on city open space south of Boulder Canyon Drive and north of Eldorado Springs Drive. It is being conducted to ensure federal compliance and maintain electric reliability in the area and is expected to be completed by the end of September. In advance of this work, the city and Xcel agreed on a temporary license agreement that requires the company to adhere to specific terms and conditions related to access, disturbance and reclamation and restoration – designed to minimize resource and visitor impacts. 

If you have a question or comments, please send an email to Larry Claxton or call him at 303-571-7089. More information is also available on Xcel's website.

View a map of the project area pdf.

OSMP Master Plan

OSMP Master Plan logo

Open Space and Mountain Parks has kicked off a long-term effort to establish a community-supported plan that will guide the management of the community’s open space over the next decade and beyond. Share your comments now and sign up for email updates. Our first "window of engagement" for the master plan will close on Friday, March 30.

Rocky Mountain Greenway + Review of Draft Soil Sampling and Analysis Plan 

The City of Boulder is part of a multi-agency partnership supporting the development of the Rocky Mountain Greenway in Jefferson and Boulder County.   

In May of 2016, the Boulder City Council approved the city’s participation in the partnership’s grant application to Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) for funding to create an underpass beneath Colorado Highway 128 connecting Boulder’s open space trails with the Rocky Mountain Greenway and the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. 

To address public health and safety concerns, the City Council made the city’s support and financial commitment to the underpass project conditional upon the results of soil sampling for radionuclides demonstrating that contamination levels (if any) fall below federal human health standards.

Jefferson County has coordinated the partners in the grant application with FHWA, has led the contracting of a consulting firm and has prepared a website with more information about this project to ensure that community members of all the partner jurisdictions have the information available at the same time as the project moves forward. Part of the partnerships due diligence is conducting soil sampling to address public health and safety concerns. The draft soil sampling and analysis plan (SAP) is now available for review. Visit Jefferson County's site to review and comment on the draft soil sampling and analysis plan, learn more about the partnership and sign up for project updates.

There will be two open house forums for members of the public to learn about the project and provide input and feedback related to the Sampling and Analysis Plan. Please note that content for the open houses in Boulder and Jefferson counties will be identical and subject matter is strictly related to the proposed Sampling and Analysis Plan. The comment period is scheduled to close on August 24.

  • Open House No.1: July 17, 2018, Westview Recreation Center, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (10747 W 108th Ave, Broomfield, CO 80021)
  • Open House No.2: July 24, 2018, East Boulder Recreation Center, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (5660 Sioux Dr, Boulder, CO 80303)

City of Boulder Background Information

Open Space Board of Trustees (February 11, 2016)

City Council Action (May 3, 2016)

Completed Projects

Boulder Falls

Boulder Falls opened Friday, June 8, 2018. Repairs began in February and included replacing gabion baskets, slope stabilization and trail widening. Additional site improvements will continue in 2019. Thanks for your patience as OSMP works to repair and improve this area.

Boulder Falls Trail construction work Completed Boulder Falls Trail work


South Foothills Trail

In March-May 2018, an OSMP contractor completed repairs of 2/3 mile of the Foothills South Trail from the Utica Ave neighborhood access north to Four Mile Creek. The trail was damaged by the September 2013 flood, which removed the gravel trail surface (crusher fines) and caused erosion. The trail had several drainage features installed to help lessen the potential for future erosion damage. Trail re-construction statistics include:

  • 12 rolling dips constructed on the trail to divert water off of the trail surface and prevent erosion.
  • Over 1400 linear feet of trailside ditch constructed to divert ground surface water away from the trail.
  • The trail surface was re-constructed at 8 feet wide (the same as the pre-construction width), with a 4-inch layer of crusher fines gravel installed as the trail surface.  336 cubic yards of crusher fines (enough to fill 4 ½ city buses!) were used on the project.

Future improvements are scheduled for the Foothills South Trail in upcoming years, including a new bridge over Four Mile Creek, and a short re-route on the section leading down to Wonderland Lake to reduce ongoing erosion issues.

Foothills South Trail before and after reconstruction

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