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Plans are moving ahead to construct a pedestrian underpass under Interstate 25 near East County Road 60 to connect the east and west sides of Wellington. The Colorado Department of Transportation has approved a Transportation Enhancement Program grant for $195,000. The town of Wellington will contribute $48,750 for its matching portion of the grant, plus an additional $26,250 (an overmatch) for a total project cost of $270,000.
Wellington town manager Larry Lorentzen said responses to his request for proposals for engineering consulting services will come in by April 25 and design services will be contracted for in May. Lorentzen anticipates construction will begin by October with completion in late fall or early spring of 2014.
The underpass will provide safe crossing for students walking or biking between the east and west sides of town and will connect with the regional trail network linking municipalities within Larimer and Weld counties.
The project will use one of three box-culvert “cells” carrying Boxelder Creek flows under the interstate. Lighting and signage will be installed through the 8-foot culvert. Currently the only pedestrian access is a 1-foot wide shoulder on Colorado 1 over I-25 at the Wellington interchange.
Currently, Rice Elementary School students are driven north to the overpass and back south to get to school.The underpass will provide a direct route for students to walk or bike to and from school.