Rocky Mountain Greenway

Extension of Rocky Mountain Greenway North and into Boulder County

Project Summary

The Rocky Mountain Greenway is one of three Colorado the Beautiful statewide priority trail projects that intersect Jefferson County. The vision of the project is to ultimately connect the three Front Range National Wildlife Refuges (Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Two Ponds and Rocky Flats) with Rocky Mountain National Park through a, multi-use, regional trail system. The project goal is to provide equitable access to Federal public lands.

Phase One, linking the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuges is complete. Phase Two linking Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge to Lyons is partially complete, and Phase Three between Lyons and Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park is still in the conceptual phase.

Rocky Mountain Greenway Project Summary Graphic

Project Status

In 2016 Jefferson County Open Space joined with five neighboring open space partners (City of Boulder, Boulder County, City and County of Broomfield, City of Westminster, and City of Arvada– collectively referred to as the 2016 Partner Group) to submit a Federal Lands Access Program Grant (FLAP) grant to create trail connections into Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The grants specifically sought funding for trail crossings at Indiana Street and Colorado Highway 128. 

The Partner Group was successful in their application for the FLAP grant and in the years 2016-2019 conducted extensive public outreach. Public concerns regarding possible residual contaminants at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge led Jefferson County, with the support of the partner group, to hire Engineering Analytics to provide an independent study. This effort included both public engagement as well as an independent confirmatory analysis (which included site-specific soil sampling for radionuclides in the areas of disturbance) to corroborate findings by state and federal agencies that conditions at the trail crossing locations at the perimeter of the Refuge boundary are consistent with previously established public health standards for recreational activity. 

The final results from the sampling and analysis plan for the FLAP partnership showed that values of all contaminants of concern were, without exception, lower than historic values. Results are available here (link 1 - FLAP Sampling Results), the final results of the USFWS sampling effort are available here (link 2 - USFWS Final Sampling), and summary statistics are available here (link 3 - FLAP Summary Stats).

 Based on the results of the independent testing, all members of the Partner Group, except the City and County of Broomfield, agreed to move forward with the FLAP grant. (See below for links to Resolutions and Agenda items) In May 2021 the FLAP Partner Group signed an intergovernmental agreement to dedicate required matching funds to proceed with the design and construction of the crossings at Hwy 128 and Indiana St. This IGA forms the basis for Jefferson County Open Space, on behalf of the Partner Group, to enter into a formal agreement with FHWA to begin work. Final design and construction of the crossings is happening concurrently with an RFNWR project to complete connecting trails within the refuge. Upon completion of these separate but complementary projects, the Rocky Mountain Greenway will be complete from Rocky Mountain Arsenal into Boulder County.

Intergovernmental Agreement  (IGA) between Partners for Participation in FLAP Grant  (PDF)
Boulder County BOCC Meeting Agenda April 6, 2021 (Web)
City of Boulder Council Meeting Agenda Item April 13, 2021 (Web) 

Project Timeline (Subject to Change) 

  • May- July 2018 – Public engagement (see links below for summary information)
  • July 2019 – Field work in conformance to the SAP completed by Engineering Analytics staff  
  • September 2019 – Laboratory analysis of the soil samples for multiple radionuclides completed by ALS
  • October 2019 – The draft report provided by Engineering Analytics
  • Spring – Summer 2020 – Final results published
  • May 2021 – Intergovernmental Agreement signed between FLAP grant partner group members to proceed with FLAP grant
  • September 2021 – Interagency Agreement between Federal Highways Administration and Jefferson County (on behalf of the FLAP Partner Group)
      obligates funds and moves the project into design and construction
  • Fall 2021 – Fall 2023 – Design completed
  • Winter 2023/2024 – Construction begins
Rocky Mountain Greenway Phase 2 RFNWR graphic

Governor Hickenlooper Inaugurates the Refuge to Refuge Segment of the Rocky Mountain Greenway

Rocky Mountain Greenway -Governor Hickenlooper