Formal mitigation recommendation for WWI memorial pillars sent to CDOT

Published: 20 February 2023

By Andrea Graheda
via the Colorado Hometown Weekly newspaper web site

Road of Remembrance gateway pillars

The WWI Road of Remembrance gateway pillars

The Road of Remembrance gateway pillars are seen near the intersection of U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road in Lafayette in April of 2022. (Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer)

A Boulder County group has sent formal recommendation to the Colorado Department of Transportation for the WWI Road of Remembrance gateway pillars be relocated to the northwest corner of the intersection of Arapahoe Road and U.S. 287 in order to maintain their historical meaning and integrity.

Under a CDOT request, the Mitigation Working Group was made with local historic preservation groups to develop a preservation and potential maintenance plan for the World War I memorial pillars. The gateway pillars are currently located at the intersection of Arapahoe Road and the west side of U.S. 287. According to the letter sent to CDOT, the mitigation group has examined more than 20 alternatives for the pillars.

The mitigation group presented the northwest corner relocation alternative during a public hearing for the pillars on Jan. 15. During that meeting, Bill Meyer, a member of the Boulder Rotary Club, said that relocating the pillars to the northwest corner of the intersection would allow the pillars to remain close to the historic location and would be out of the way for any future Arapahoe Road expansion. Meyer also said that the relocation would be less visible and could cost more than a half million dollars. Last month, he presented three alternatives for mitigation and remediation of the pillars, ranging from $150,000 to $750,000.

According to the letter, the mitigation group has spoken with the owner of the land in the northwest corner of the intersection and the owner is willing to dispose of that tract of land in order to have the pillars there. That tract of land could then be transferred to CDOT, who could form an intergovernmental agreement with a nearby municipality. The group recommends that a local government, such as Boulder County, Erie or Lafayette, form an agreement with CDOT, in order for local officials to maintain the pillars.

At the January meeting, Meyer said that the pillars have been damaged. He said that the base of the south pillar is currently buried in 2 feet of dirt, after a change in traffic patterns for the intersection. The letter states that CDOT conducted a survey on the new road design and found that it “diminished the physical integrity of the Monument” and “greatly impacted the integrity of the Monument’s historic setting.”

The working group also stated in the letter that funding for the relocation needs to be a top priority.

“The Working Group believes that it is incumbent on those entities who should have avoided impacting the Monument or protected it in 2019 and 2020 to now lead the way in funding the mitigation plan,” the working group said in its letter to CDOT.

Read the entire article on the Colorado Hometown Weekly web site here:

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