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Boulder Creek Path & Lighting Improvements Project

Boulder Creek Path & Lighting Improvements Project

Project Update

The work on the West End pdf is complete. 

The Winter Walk and Bike Week Light Up the Night event was postponed due to the cold, snowy weather!  Stay tuned to learn when this fun family 1-mile walk and bike ride from Civic Area Park to Eben G. Fine Park will be rescheduled.  

Construction Update

The week of February 12, crews will begin improvements to the Boulder Creek Path underpass at 9th Street.  Work will require the 9th Street underpass to be closed 24-hours a day during construction, which is estimated to take about four days to complete. Path users will be detoured up to 9th Street and to the crossing of 9th Street at either Canyon Boulevard or Arapahoe Avenue.  

For the most up-to-date information on construction impacts, visit the city's Construction and Traffic Impacts webpage, Boulder Cone Zones

East End

The project team is working with the Boulder Valley School District to identify opportunities to provide a wider, better lit path on the East End, along Boulder High School, while also preserving the school's ability to host regulation soccer play in the adjacent field.

If you have questions, contact Melanie Sloan, Transportation Division, at 303-441-4934 or [email protected].

Project Background

Boulder Creek Path Video

The Boulder Creek Path is a multi-use concrete path parallel to the Boulder Creek riparian corridor. The downtown sections of the path are busy recreational and commuting corridors for pedestrians and bicyclists.  During summer months, an average of 1,500 to 2,000 bicyclists travel through the project area, and pedestrians are estimated to be roughly equal in number.  Path users have expressed concern for personal safety due to a lack of pedestrian scale lighting and the high potential for conflict between pedestrians and bicyclists.

The 2014 voter-approved Community, Culture and Safety tax ballot initiative allocated $1.9 million to the Boulder Creek Path and Lighting Improvements Project to increase safety of the downtown sections of the Boulder Creek Path.

Project Description

The project will construct pedestrian specific facilities, formalize existing social trails, address conflict zones and install interpretive signage along the multi-use path for both pedestrians and bicyclists.

Project Improvements

Project construction is anticipated to be completed in phases:

1. West End:  6th Street to the east end of the Eben G. Fine Park bridge
2. Underpass Approaches:  at 6th and 9th streets
3. East End:  17th Street to 13th Street

The West End is within the Boyd Smelter Site, a local landmark since 1998 (Ordinance No 6003).  Path and lighting improvements within the landmark required an approved Landmark Alteration Certificate through the city’s Historic Preservation Design Review Process.  The permit was received on March 29, 2017.

The East End is constrained by the Boulder Creek and its embankments to the south and, along some portions, Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) property to the north.  The Boulder Creek floodplain and BVSD athletic fields need to be considered during planning and design for the East End.

Public Involvement

Feedback received through the public process will be incorporated into the project design, where feasible.

Past Meetings & Events

The project has been presented to the public in the following ways:

  • City of Boulder Floodplain and Wetland Permit, August, 2017

  • Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC), April, 2017.

  • Civic Area Open House, April 4, 2016
    • See the preliminary project plans here. pdf
    • The summary of feedback received at the Civic Area Open House can be read here. pdf
  • Youth Opportunity Advisory Board, April 8, 2016
    • The summary of feedback received from the YOAB can be read here. pdf
  • Boulder Walks Civic Area Ramble, May 7, 2016 & June 11, 2016
    • The summary of feedback received from the Boulder Walks can be read here. pdf
  • Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Update Meeting, May 11, 2016
    • The summary of feedback received at the BVCP Update Meeting can be read here. pdf
  • Open House, December 12, 2016
    • Review the proposed plans presented at the project open house pdf
    • The summary of feedback received at the open house can be read here. pdf
    • If you were not able to join the Dec. 12, 2016 open house pdf to learn about the project design alternatives and provide feedback, we still want to hear from you!
    • Review the information provided at the open house here pdf. Please take a moment to complete the project comment form to share how you use the path and ideas for improving its safety.
  • Landmarks Design Review Committee, March 29, 2017
    • The project received the necessary Landmark Alteration Certificate (LAC) for improvements to the west end, within the Boyd Smelter Historic Boundary.

Project Schedule

The final project design may influence the project schedule. The following schedule is an estimate.

  • Design Development - through spring 2017
  • Public Outreach Proccess - through spring 2017
  • Board and Committee Presentation(s), if needed: mid 2017
  • Construction - spring, 2017 to early-mid 2018


The project was one of those listed in the 2014 voter-approved Community, Culture and Safety tax. The projects for the ballot initiative were identified and approved by City Council on Aug. 5, 2014.

Community, Culture and Safety Tax Color Logo for Web

The budget for the Boulder Creek Path and Lighting Improvements project is $1,925,000.

Project Coordination and Support

The Boulder Creek Path and Lighting Improvements project will coordinate with and support the following projects:

Boulder Civic Area Project

The Boulder Civic Area project includes the area between Canyon Boulevard to the north, Arapahoe Avenue to the south, 9 th Street to the west and 14 th Street to the east.

The Civic Area completed a master plan in 2015, which established the goals, guiding principles and core themes for implementation, a process that will take the next 10 to 20 years to complete.

The CCS also funded the first phase of the Civic Area redevelopment, between Canyon Boulevard to the north, Arapahoe Avenue to the south, 9 th Street to the west and the main Boulder Library to the east. This phase of the Civic Area Project was completed in 2017.  Planning for the East end (between Broadway and 14th Street), began in 2018 and is anticipated to continue into 2019.

Boulder Creek Arapahoe Avenue Underpass (Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street)

The Boulder Creek Arapahoe Avenue Underpass (Arapahoe Avenue & 13th Street) Project pdf will improve the general safety and sightlines along the existing multi-use path, meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for the underpass, reduce high water closures of the multi-use path and encourage use of the underpass through safety and design improvements to decrease use of the at grade crossing at Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street.


For more information, contact:

Melanie Sloan ● Transportation Division ● 303-441-3266● [email protected]

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The City of Boulder will send you regular email updates about the Boulder Creek Path Improvements project.

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