High Plains Trail (formerly known as E-470 Regional Trail)
A new regional trail, the High Plains Trail, is in the works to the north of Parker along the E-470 corridor. This future trail is part of the recent E-470 Widening Project. The E-470 Authority designed, funded and constructed the regional trail from Quincy Avenue to approximately the county line between Arapahoe and Douglas Counties during the road widening project. This trail is planned to ultimately continue to the north adjacent to E-470 as their widening projects continue in the future.
The trail is planned to continue due west, separating from the E-470 corridor and crossing through the future Kings Point development in Aurora, including a grade separated overcrossing of Parker Road. Once the trail crosses over Parker Road, it will connect with the existing Cherry Creek Trail, where trail users can head north on the Cherry Creek Trail or head south and connect with the existing Centennial Trail (aka E-470 Trail) within Parker to continue west. This alignment will ultimately provide a much safer crossing of Parker Road than an at-grade crossing near Cottonwood Drive to the south.
Trail Closed Until Fully Constructed
The portion of this regional trail that has already been constructed by E-470 is currently closed to the south of Ireland Way in Arapahoe County. Temporarily ending the trail at this location will prevent trail users from continuing south to Cottonwood Drive and attempting to cross Parker Road at-grade. The Cottonwood Drive crossing would create an unsafe situation that has been discouraged by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which has jurisdiction over this state highway.
Project Funding and Timeline
Funding for the design and construction of the remaining phase of this new regional trail, including the overpass of Parker Road, is a joint effort between Arapahoe County, Parker, Aurora and Douglas County (The Partner Group). The E-470 Authority has already contributed $438,000 towards this project, and the group is planning to seek additional funding through a trails grant with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO).
The project is currently in the conceptual design phase of the trail over-crossing of Parker Road and determining the most appropriate route through the future Kings Point Development. Pending funding and permitting, construction is not expected to begin until 2020 at the earliest. While that may seem like a long time, all partners in this project are committed to completing this important trail connection as soon as possible.