Bike path nears completion

Posted 3/10/09

It was a sure sign March 9 that the final segment of the Big Dry Creek Bike Path is nearing completion when crews moved with watchmaker-like …

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Bike path nears completion


It was a sure sign March 9 that the final segment of the Big Dry Creek Bike Path is nearing completion when crews moved with watchmaker-like precision as they maneuvered two 95,000-pound concrete spans in place for the Big Dry Creek-to-Broadway ramp.

The completed bike path will connect the Mary Carter Greenway, a paved, off-street bike trail that runs from Chatfield Dam, to downtown Denver and the Highline Canal.

As part of the March 9 project, a crane swung the huge section off the truck and lowered it over the waiting supports. Crews used hand signals to adjust the position of the ramp section so it was almost ready to put in place. Gradually and gently, with a slight adjustment here and a small movement there, the section lined up perfectly and settled into place with an authoritative thump.

Jake Timmons watched the work with interest.

“This is exciting,” the Littleton man said. “I am an avid cyclist and completion of this ramp means this portion of the bike path is almost done. I can hardly wait until it’s ready because it opens up a really nice ride through Littleton, Centennial and Englewood, most of it off the street.”

The ramp is the last major portion of the project to be put in place to finish the Lehow-to-Broadway section, which is the final segment of the Little Dry Creek Bike Path. The work should be completed by early April and the official grand opening ceremonies are scheduled May 3.

However, the ramp isn’t the only work being done in the area of the 5200 block of South Broadway. Crews removed two of the poles holding the Wolf Camera sign to put in a 10-foot paved path bracketed by a 5-foot buffer on each side that leads to nearby Raferty Garden Road.

Initial work on the Big Dry Creek Bike Path began in 1997 when Englewood, Littleton and the South Suburban Parks Foundation joined forces to create the 14-mile loop from the Mary Carter Greenway along the South Platte River to the Highline Canal Bike Path through Lee Gulch and back to the Mary Carter Greenway.

The nonprofit South Suburban Parks Foundation heads the project. Bev Bradshaw, former Englewood mayor and foundation member, said this milestone has been a long time coming. She said, while completing the project took longer than expected, when it opens it will provide a valuable amenity to walkers, joggers and cyclists in the area.

When the final segment is completed, cyclists wanting to get on the Big Dry Creek Bike Path from the greenway will use the pedestrian/bike bridge over the South Platte River near Union Avenue.

Once across the bridge, the paved path heads east, passing through tunnels under Santa Fe, the railroad tracks and Windermere before winding through Belleview Park.

It continues southeast under Belleview and through Progress Park before running along an elevated bridge to Lehow Avenue. The Lehow-to-Broadway segment allows cyclists to continue along the banks of the creek, go under Broadway to Washington Street.

From there, it is a short on-street segment to the Highline Canal Bike Path. From there, a bike path along Lee Gulch leads back to the Mary Carter Greenway.

Cyclists will travel about 11 miles if they ride the circular route from greenway, bike path, Highline Canal back to the starting point.


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