State Highway 7 Planning and Environmental Linkage Study

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CDOT is conducting a Planning and Environmental Linkage Study (PEL) to look at improving conditions on State Highway 7 (SH 7) from U.S. 287 in Lafayette to U.S. 85 in Brighton. Communities along SH 7 are expected to experience rapid population growth.  Therefore, the SH 7 PEL is an important study to effectively prepare for addressing potential growth demands. The study has evaluated the existing and future operating conditions of the highway, while making recommendations to address future development along the corridor. This study has assessed current conditions and is recommending a range of improvements. The study has identified the potential for multi-modal improvements such as transit service, and the capacity to add bicycle and pedestrian facilities and to make trail connections. Additionally, environmental analysis has been conducted to assess the impacts of potential improvements.

Segment characteristics vary throughout the SH 7 corridor, as do the land use designations.  Corridor land use patterns include downtown, rural, suburban, commercial and sites for future commercial development.  The traffic volumes mirror these different land uses, and range from 12,000 to 20,000 vehicles per day.  This PEL is defining a common vision for the SH 7 corridor, while recognizing the unique characteristics of its diverse segments.

A Technical Working Group, composed of staff from the local communities and agencies such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) and Regional Transportation District (RTD) has provided critical input to CDOT throughout the study and at key milestones in the process.

Key elements of this study are to:

  • Identify the vision for SH7 of the jurisdictions in the corridor.
  • Complete the study in accordance with the FHWA Planning and Environmental Linkage process. This has included:
    • Public Outreach
    • Direct involvement with local governments and special interest groups within the study area
    • Coordination with State and Federal Resource agencies
    • Documentation of study process, findings and recommendations to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standards so information developed in this study can be appended or referenced in a final NEPA document
    • Completing the PEL documentation for FHWA concurrence
  • Identify existing and future problem areas in the corridor.
  • Identify issues in the corridor of importance to each respective corridor jurisdiction.
  • Establish a priority list for planned improvements.
  • Estimate costs of improvements.