Muller Engineering Company of Lakewood, in conjunction with its client partners, was recently recognized as a national Engineering Excellence Awards winner for two projects by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). One of the winning projects was Linking Lookout: US 6 and 19th Street Interchange for the City of Golden and the Colorado Department of Transportation, which won a Grand Award in the “Transportation” category.
The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards received almost 200 project submittals that were winners in ACEC state competitions from around the country and selected 16 Grand Award winners. The awards were presented at the annual “Academy Awards of Engineering” celebration in early May in Washington D.C.
Muller Engineering Company served as the lead firm to design improvements at the US 6 and 19th Street interchange, a partnership between the City of Golden and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The project created a unique cut and cover “lid” feature, Colorado’s first, over US 6 to allow pedestrians to cross over the highway in a calm, low-speed environment, with separate facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars. This project provides a link between Lookout Mountain and downtown Golden and became known as “Linking Lookout.”
The US 6 and 19th Street intersection is the primary access to downtown Golden for traffic from Denver and the I-70 mountain corridor. For decades, crossing US 6 was a safety nightmare. In addition to 60,000 vehicles, hundreds of residents, cyclists, and Colorado School of Mines students negotiated the intersection each day. The City of Golden’s goals for improving the intersection included enhancing neighborhood connectivity, minimizing noise and emissions, and protecting the natural beauty and views of the mountain backdrop. Now that the project is complete, crossing the lid from the adjacent neighborhoods to downtown Golden is safe and easy with little notice of highway traffic moving beneath. Students cross one-lane of traffic at a time and walk from home to class through a park rather than crossing the busy multi-lane highway. The covered highway, berms, and low-speed traffic on 19th Street reduce noise and emissions. The lid and park landscaping reduce the visibility of the roadway and provides quiet seating areas to enjoy mountain views. Cyclists climb 19th Street to Lookout Mountain on bike lanes and wide concrete trails through the park. Aesthetic design incorporated into the bridge structure and park amenities create an environment echoing the feel of the nearby mountains. Traffic congestion and safety improved dramatically by removing conflict points and incorporating free-flow conditions for major movements. The Linking Lookout project demonstrates how collaboration with area stakeholders, the public, and permitting agencies can result in a tremendous community improvement.