Colorado Department of Transportation—Linking Lookout—US 6 and 19th Street Project

CDOT has long studied alternatives for a highway to circumnavigate the Denver metropolitan area. Most plans called for a limited access highway that would pass through Golden, generally along the current US Highway 6 (US 6) and State Highway 93 (SH 93) corridors. Because Golden sits in a narrow valley with neighborhoods on both sides of US 6 and SH 93, residents and City leaders had great concerns that an expanded highway could become a significant community barrier and noise generator. Additionally, hundreds of residents, cyclists, and Colorado School of Mines students, in addition to 60,000 vehicles, negotiate the US 6/19th Street intersection each day traveling between neighborhoods and downtown, up Lookout Mountain, and between classes and student housing. Safety was clearly an issue.

The proposed interchange provided a link between Lookout Mountain and downtown Golden, the project was branded as Linking Lookout. Linking Lookout replaced the existing signalized intersection with a $25 million interchange, featuring local roads, a city park, and multi-use trails. The first highway “lid” in Colorado. CSM students now walk to class through a park built above US 6 on a 280-foot wide bridge, rather than crossing a busy highway. The park provides neighbors with quiet seating areas to enjoy mountain views. Cyclists ride up Lookout Mountain on bike lanes and wide concrete trails through the park. Finally, the depressed US 6 alignment and low-speed design of 19th Street minimize noise in the adjacent neighborhoods.