Alternatives Evaluation

Completed in 2015, the Wadsworth Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study, documents how Wheat Ridge and CDOT developed a purpose and need and alternatives through three rounds of refinement and evaluation. The first round of the PEL Study’s alternatives development looked at 55 individual improvements evaluated against their ability to address the purpose and need.

The second round included nine alternatives with different combinations of through lanes on Wadsworth, signals, changes in access control, protected bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and relocated transit facilities. In the third round, five alternatives were evaluated.

The PEL Final Recommended Alternative was a Full Build Alternative with Expanded Access Control that included two full-movement signalized intersections between 38th Avenue and 44th Avenue. This alternative included six through lanes, raised medians for access control, relocated transit stops, and other improvements.

The EA process began with the PEL Final Recommended Alternative but also reconsidered some of the alternatives that were not advanced by the PEL Study. The four alternatives evaluated included:

  • No-Action Alternative
  • PEL Final Recommended Alternative
  • Minimal Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) Alternative
  • Conventional Signalization Alternative

Based on the evaluation, the Minimal CFI Alternative was determined to best respond to the project needs and was recommended as the Proposed Action to be reviewed. This alternative had more corridor throughput, better intersection Level of Service (LOS), reduced right-of-way impacts, and comparable crossing features for pedestrians and bicycles.

The Minimal CFI Alternative was further refined by evaluating options for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, bus stop enhancements, and traffic signals. In addition, a value engineering process evaluated options for cost savings (right-of-way, construction, and maintenance), responsiveness to purpose and need, constructability, and public input and concerns.

This Proposed Action is the most reasonable alternative that meets the purpose and need of the project while minimizing environmental, social, and economic impacts.