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Driving You Crazy: Will the last 2 miles of Jewell Avenue ever be paved or at least better maintained?

I’ve seen farm roads that were in better shape
Jewell Ave
Posted at 5:33 AM, Feb 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-28 12:27:41-05

Tim from Murphy Creek writes, “What’s driving you crazy? Jayson, if you get a chance, look at the last 2 miles of Jewell Avenue. I recall funds were appropriated (County, I think) to resurface and improve drainage along there. Construction equipment was impeding traffic for months. I’ve seen farm roads that were in better shape. It was never finished. Disturbing….”

I took your advice Tim and drove that dirt section of Jewell Avenue east of Powhaton Road to the dead end at Watkins Road. There isn’t much out there, just a couple of homes, a small solar farm and the Dynamic Paintball & Airsoft field. Traffic volume, as you can imagine, is nearly non-existent. I saw just some tumble weeds, random birds, trash like an old mattress and stove and the semi’s kicking up lots of dust from the unpaved road.

The ride for me wasn’t bad, considering the road is unpaved. I never encountered any washboarding or corrugation. For me it was a relatively smooth ride.

That section of Jewell Avenue is now part of the city of Aurora. The roadway, if it didn’t dead end at Watkins Road, would still be in Aurora farther east to Imboden Road. The city tells me several parcels of land, including Jewell Avenue, was annexed by Aurora years ago and is now part of their maintenance operations.

I’m told by Arapahoe County that they completed a construction project along East Jewell Avenue about 10 years ago. They tell me they improved a few of the drainage crossings and at the same time, performed some road grading to smooth out the road surface. Separately, the city of Aurora tells me they have not appropriated any city funds for drainage or surface improvements, however, the city continues to patch Jewell Avenue as need to keep it safe.

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The city of Aurora says any future upgrade to the road surface or drainage such as paving, would be driven by future development in that area, and would be the responsibility of the developers. Cities and counties used to pay for infrastructure before a development would be created and built out but don’t anymore. The reason is typically cities don’t have the additional revenue to build out the infrastructure and push those new infrastructure costs, like road building, to the developer. The developer will typically seek reimbursement through Public Improvement Fees. I checked for any possible developments along that section of Jewell Avenue and found no plans currently under review in that area.

Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Spotify or Podbean.