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Foothills Parkway Bicycle and Pedestrian Underpass

Project Purpose and Scope

The existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Foothills Parkway south of Colorado Avenue connects neighborhoods east and west of Foothills Parkway to the University of Colorado Boulder, schools, parks and other bicycle and pedestrian paths, lanes and sidewalks. The bridge was constructed in 1978 and is at the end of its service life, requiring more frequent maintenance, and does not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and other bicycle facility design guidelines.

This project will provide an underpass crossing of Foothills Parkway for pedestrians and bicyclists that meets current guidelines and standards. The existing bridge will be removed. The project will include connections to adjacent bicycle and pedestrian paths, signage, bicycle parking, public art and replacement landscaping and trees.

Photos of existing conditions

Photos of existing conditions








Project Status

Underpass construction to begin in late August

Construction is anticipated to begin later this summer, 2019 and take approximately 1 year to complete.  

Tree removal and relocations

The Transportation Division is working closely with the Forestry Division to minimize the number of trees needed to be removed for the construction of the underpass project.  The tree removal process will take a phased approach beginning mid-February 2019 and finishing in August 2020 when construction is anticipated to be completed. The work is beginning in mid-February to minimize or eliminate impacts to nesting raptors during their upcoming nesting season.

The plan for tree removal is:

  • Feb. 15: Four trees and some brush will be removed on the east side of Foothills Parkway along the ditch. 
  • April 2-4: Sixteen trees along and near the median will be transplanted to Foothills Golf Course, Park East Park and the east end of the Civic Area, near the Arapahoe Underpass construction site. An additional tree located near the roadway will be transplanted to a new location within Park East Park. 
  • August: Fifteen trees near the construction site will be removed. The city will replant an equal number of trees around the city to replace those removed. 

View the flyer on the tree removals. If you have questions, please call 303-441-3200. 

March 6, 2019 Open House and Final Design Information 

An open house was recently held for the public to view final design information for this project, ask questions and provide feedback regarding the construction schedule and impacts. The open house also provided updates on two other Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects: Intersection Safety Improvements and 30th Street and Colorado Avenue Bike and Pedestrian Underpass.

Click the thumbnail below to view the meeting boards and maps. 

Foothills Underpass Project Boards



Review process

The Foothills Underpass will be located just south of Colorado.

The project has been reviewed through the city’s Community and Environmental Assessment Process (CEAP). The CEAP pdf assesses potential impacts of a public project to inform the selection and refinement of a preferred project alternative.

Following the consideration of community feedback and technical evaluation, the recommended underpass alternative is 1b. Participants in the public process generally favored this alternative. Alternative 1b will:

  • Improve mobility for all ages and abilities 
  • Maintain the neighborhood access for the various bicycle and pedestrian travel patterns
  • Provide a more direct crossing connection compared to other alternatives (does not require entry ramp loops and steep grades)
  • Provide access to the Wellman Ditch company for maintenance, which is also an improvement from existing conditions
  • Be constructed within the project budget and with a shorter construction duration compared to the other alternatives

1b also supports other factors such as directness of travel and connections to natural features. The new underpass will have a design life of 75 years and will meet current accessibility and bike facility design standards with less-steep slopes.

At the June 11, 2018, Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) meeting the Board held a public hearing and recommended (4-0) approval of the CEAP and the preferred alternative.    The CEAP was forwarded to City Council for potential call-up by July 17, 2018 and the City Council did not call-up the CEAP. The project's preferred alternative will move forward into preliminary and final design. The project is anticipated to begin construction in 2019 and take one year to complete.

Learn more about the recommended alternative 1b and matrix evaluation for all alternatives pdf.

Anticipated Timeline

  • Project planning and design - summer 2017 through fall 2018
  • Final design, project permits, and approvals and project bidding - late 2018/Early 2019
  • Construction - Summer/Fall 2019  (12 month construction period)

​Community Engagement

Stay Connected

Sign up for email updates to stay up-to-date on the project.

Email Address: 


For information, contact: Noreen Walsh ● Transportation Division ● 303-441-4301 ●  [email protected]

Past meetings: 

May 3, 2018: 30th and Colorado Corridors Study + Underpass Open House

View project background and timeline pdf

View information on recommended alternative pdf

Feb. 7, 2018: 30th and Colorado Corridors Study + Underpass Open House

View Feb. 7 Meeting Materials pdf

View summary of public input from the Feb. 7 open house pdf

Sept. 25, 2017: 30th and Colorado Corridors Study + Underpass Open House

View Sept. 25 meeting materials pdf

View summary of public input from the Sept. 25 open house pdf