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Jeffco releases estimated operational date for gates on Lookout Mountain Road

The gates would close a section of the road overnight to try to combat illegal activity on Lookout Mountain.
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Posted at 11:53 AM, Apr 15, 2024

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A new project timeline details the schedule for installing gates to close part of Lookout Mountain Road to vehicles overnight in hopes it will reduce illegal activity on the mountain.

The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners met in late February to discuss this plan, which includes a 4.1-mile vehicle closure overnight. This stemmed from years of community concern about people participating in illegal and destructive activities after park hours, which has included vandalism, drug use, littering, firing guns and more.

Jeffco county commissioners support proposal to close Lookout Mtn. Road at night

At the end of the meeting, all three Jeffco commissioners were in agreement that the plan to install automatic gates should progress, and gave Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) consent to proceed.

Since then, JCOS staff reviewed an implementation schedule alongside its project partners and laid out a timeline for the project over the weekend.

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The estimated operational date for the gates has been set at Nov. 11, 2024, said Mary Ann Bonnell, director of JCOS visitor services and natural resources. She noted this could change due to weather or other factors.

"We realize this timeline will not meet the expectations of some community members and stakeholders," she said. "The timeline reflects the reality of navigating a fair and transparent procurement process and honoring existing work schedules for implementation partners."

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Follow Up

Jeffco county commissioners support proposal to close Lookout Mtn. Road at night

Stephanie Butzer
2:18 PM, Feb 27, 2024

This June, JCOS will examine the design and scope of the work, which will include a community review and comment opportunity. In August, the county will complete the purchase. Construction will continue into October. At its completion, it will include two turnaround spots, two gates and the new signage. And in November, the gates will become operational.

The plan to install automatic gates has support from a range of stakeholders, JCOS said, including Denver Mountain Parks, Jeffco Open Space, Jeffco Road and Bridge, Jeffco Sheriff’s Office, Jeffco Transportation and Engineering, East side HOAs, Foothills Fire, Golden Fire, Genesee Fire, Golden Police, Highland Rescue, and School of Mines.

According to the proposal, the gates will automatically close, but will allow vehicles to exit the closure area. Law enforcement and emergency personnel will have the ability to manually open or close the gates during emergencies.

This closure only applies to vehicles — hikers and bicyclists can still access the road when the gates are closed.

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