Design of Crystal Valley Interchange takes shape

Town OKs contract for pre-construction and design services

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Castle Rock’s Crystal Valley Interchange project is progressing with preliminary designs since the town council approved a contract with a Construction Manager General Contractor.

During their March 15 meeting, town councilmembers unanimously approved a contract with Kraemer North America LLC for pre-construction services, including design work, at a rate of $450,000, with an additional $45,000 budgeted for contingencies. 

“We’re currently underway with the design,” Director of Public Works Dan Sailer told the council. “This is an exciting milestone for us to bring on a contractor as part of the design team to leverage their expertise and start moving toward construction.” 

Sailer’s presentation aimed for design work to be completed by the summer of 2023.

Over the phone on March 18, project manager Aaron Monks said the goal is to begin construction on the project in fall 2023 with completion in the fall of 2025.

Per the preferred structure that the town is designing, Crystal Valley Parkway would cross over Interstate 25 on the east and Territorial Road on the west. New on and off ramps for both north and south traffic will be constructed and the east and west frontage roads will be relocated.

Signalized intersections are planned for Dawson Ridge Boulevard and the proposed Prairie Hawk Drive at Crystal Valley Parkway, as well as the I-25 south ramps at Crystal Valley Parkway. A roundabout will be utilized at the east frontage road and Crystal Valley Parkway. An eastbound to northbound loop ramp will link I-25 and the parkway.

The town has about $21.1 million budgeted for pre-construction and design work and has received a $5.4 million grant from the US Department of Transportation to offset those costs. In total, the project is expected to cost around $75 million to $80 million. 

Sailer said during the council meeting that the town’s portion of the pre-construction budget is coming out of the capital works fund, which is fed by impact fees paid by developers. 

Douglas County has tentatively budgeted $25 million to spend in 2024 and 2025 for construction costs related to the project. Castle Rock Town Manager David Corliss said during the council meeting that Dawson Trails is expected to cover the remainder of the project.

“We’re in discussions with Dawson Trails and their understanding is that they will be paying the remainder of the project, which is $30 million plus,” Corliss said. 

With recent growth in Castle Rock, the interchange is needed to provide access to I-25 from the south side of the town. According to the town, population growth has exploded 145% over the past 20 years and the number of households has grown 126% over that same time. 

Monks said a major advantage of the interchange is that it will provide more access points to the interstate and help limit traffic build-ups.

“It’s anticipated that (the interchange) will relieve a lot of congestion down at the Plum Creek Parkway Interchange and help that flow more efficiently,” he said. 

In addition to addressing increased traffic from the growing development, the Crystal Valley Interchange is expected to help the town close four at-grade crossings over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

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