CLRC News: Park Tree Removal Resumes, Further Construction Delays for Garrison Bridge Replacement

by John Kiljan

The Garrison Street park is looking a lot more bare as the City resumes its tree removals for the upcoming flood control project.  And May is now the expected closure month for Garrison Street for the bridge replacement, channel excavation and the work on the new Arvada K-8 Park.

In a newly released timeline on the website, the City says it will have completed all of its tree removals and transplants by May 1st.  The trees to be cut down will go first followed by the transplants.  Many of the trees to be transplanted will be placed where the existing ceramics lab now stands at the southwest corner of the park.  The building will have to be pulled down and the site re-graded before that can happen.

Transplanting mature trees is no easy task.  Expect to see a very large ‘tree spade’ on the site in the coming month as the City does its best to save the trees they think can survive the shock of a transplant.

The good news is that any tree left standing on May 1st will be staying where it is.  The City plans to put temporary fencing around the remaining trees to protect them from the following construction work.  For now, questions about what happens to individual trees are being handled by the Arvada’s City Forester, Craig Hillegass (contact info below). 

The construction schedule for the Garrison Street bridge and channel excavation work has not yet been firmed up.  The prime contractor for the work, Hamon Contractors, does not yet have a signed contract.  The company is not expected to develop a construction schedule until they do.  But the City Council is scheduled to award the contract at tonight’s meeting and a construction schedule should soon follow.

Probably the most important date for most commuters and residents is when Garrison Street will be closed for bridge construction.  From the timeline the City does have, that now seems most likely to happen sometime in May.  The road is expected reopen to traffic in November even though the channel and re-grading work will continue well into next year. 

The delay is both good news and bad.  The new construction schedule makes it less likely that the project will suffer further delays due to spring flooding, but it also means that the park will be under construction through two summer seasons instead of the one that was originally planned.  The construction notification sign at the entry of the park will be changed to reflect a completion date of sometime in October of 2013.

The time line for the Garrison Street channel work also sets the schedule for building the new Arvada K-8 Park since much of the excavated dirt from Ralston Creek will be used in its construction.  The Arvada K-8 Park has recently been renamed Wolff Park after the founder of the first school in Arvada.  Construction on Wolff Park is also expected to begin in May.  But this construction will go much faster and it is expected to finish up sometime in September of 2012.


The City has set up a web page that has a link to the latest construction schedule for these projects.  You can find it by clicking on this link:

The actual updated timeline is at

The City’s Final Concept plan for Wolff Park can be found at

The overall project manager for constructing the two parks and the bridge work on Garrison Street is Assistant City Manager, Vicky Reier.  She can be reached at 720-898-7509 or

Need to find out what is going to happen to your favorite tree?  Contact the City Forester, Craig Hillegass 720-898-7422 or .  Some of the trees are numbered.

Haven’t seen a big tree spade before?  There’s is one shown near the end of a short YouTube video featuring Councilor Shelley Cook as a part of Mayor’s Williams’ Arvada Insights series of introductory videos for City Council members.  The video also has additional information about the park’s trees and the flooding problems that park is subject to.  Click on this link to see the whole seven minutes:

Or go to the City’s Photoshow site at

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community will post more information online on its website at as it becomes available.  You can also friend us on Facebook.  Our name is “Ralston Arvada.”

 John Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or

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