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Project Facts – Douglas Road

Here is some factual information about Thornton’s plans along Douglas Road:

Statement we’ve heard: “Thornton will require a 500-foot wide area to construct their water pipeline.”
Response: No, Thornton doesn’t need and will not use a 500-foot wide area to construct the water pipeline for the Thornton Water Project.  As part of its 1041 Permit application, Thornton has requested that Larimer County approve a 500-foot wide corridor along Douglas Road, from Bay Shore Road to Turnberry Road, in which Thornton would be allowed to construct the water pipeline.  However, and this is important, Thornton isn’t asking to use all 500 feet for construction.  The 500-foot wide corridor allows Larimer County and Thornton the flexibility to adjust the location of the water pipeline, where necessary, to account for existing utilities and other conditions along Douglas Road. Thornton’s intent is to stay within the Douglas Road right-of-way where feasible.  The proposed corridor shown in the 1041 permit application includes areas outside of the Douglas Road right-of-way in Larimer County as a potential location for the water pipeline should a feasible alignment within the Douglas Road right-of-way not be possible. With that said, and if you weren’t already aware, Thornton has initiated a survey of the Douglas Road right-of-way from Starlite Drive to Turnberry Road to aid in identifying a suitable water pipeline alignment within the Douglas Road right-of-way. This survey will provide information that has the potential to eliminate most, if not all, portions of the corridor outside of the Douglas Road right-of-way.  Where construction outside the right-of-way is required, Thornton will work with those property owners on Douglas Road to acquire an easement across their property for construction. If an easement on private property is required, Thornton would require no more than a 50-foot permanent easement, and a 40-foot temporary construction easement.  The property owner would be fairly compensated for the value of the easement, the property would be restored and landscaped to its pre-construction condition, or the property owner could receive additional compensation if the property couldn’t be restored to pre-construction conditions.  Thornton’s intention is not to have to remove any homes, and although detailed designs for the water pipeline have not been completed, Thornton believes that the water pipeline construction can be completed without the removal of any homes.

Statement we’ve heard: “Thornton will bulldoze people’s homes.”
Response: No, Thornton’s intention is to not have to remove any homes, and although detailed designs for the water pipeline have not been completed, Thornton believes that water pipeline construction can be completed without the removal of any homes. Thornton’s intent is to stay within the public right-of-way on Douglas Road where possible, and only go outside the Douglas Road right-of-way if construction in the right-of-way isn’t feasible.  Where construction outside the right-of-way is required, Thornton will work with those property owners on Douglas Road to acquire an easement across their property for construction. If an easement on private property is required, the property owner would be fairly compensated for the value of the easement, the property would be restored and landscaped to its pre-construction condition, or the property owner could receive additional compensation if the property couldn’t be restored to pre-construction conditions.

Statement we’ve heard: “Thornton has requested a 500-foot wide easement or right-of-way for construction of the pipeline.”
Response: No, Thornton has not requested any easements or right-of-ways in its 1041 Permit application.  As part of its 1041 Permit application, Thornton has requested that Larimer County approve a 500-foot wide corridor along Douglas Road, from Bay Shore Road to Turnberry Road, in which Thornton would be allowed to construct the water pipeline.  However, and this is important, Thornton isn’t asking to use all 500 feet for construction.  Thornton’s intent is to stay within the Douglas Road right-of-way where feasible.  The proposed corridor shown in the 1041 permit application includes areas outside of Douglas Road right-of-way in Larimer County as a potential location for the water pipeline should a feasible alignment within the Douglas Road right-of-way not be possible.  With that said, and if you weren’t already aware, Thornton has initiated a survey of the Douglas Road right-of-way from Starlite Drive to Turnberry Road to aid in identifying a suitable water pipeline alignment within the Douglas Road right-of-way. This survey will provide information that has the potential to eliminate most, if not all, portions of the corridor outside of the Douglas Road right-of-way.  Where construction outside the right-of-way is required, Thornton will work with those property owners on Douglas Road to acquire an easement across their property for construction. If an easement on private property is required, Thornton would require no more than a 50-foot permanent easement, and a 40-foot temporary construction easement.  The property owner would be fairly compensated for the value of the easement, the property would be restored and landscaped to its pre-construction condition, or the property owner could receive additional compensation if the property couldn’t be restored to pre-construction conditions.

Statement we’ve heard: “Thornton will take private property to build the water pipeline along Douglas Road.”
Response: Thornton’s intent is to stay within the public right-of-way on Douglas Road where possible, and only go outside the Douglas Road right-of-way if construction in the right-of-way isn’t feasible. Where construction outside the right-of-way is required, Thornton will work with those property owners on Douglas Road to acquire an easement across their property for construction. While the State Constitution gives all home-rule governments in Colorado the authority to exercise eminent domain to acquire property, Thornton’s intent is to work with any landowner where an easement or access may be necessary for the water pipeline route.  Thornton’s intent is that eminent domain would be used only as a last resort.

Statement we’ve heard: “Construction of the water pipeline will remove trees and fences.”
Response: Thornton’s intent is to stay within the public right-of-way on Douglas Road where possible, and only go outside the Douglas Road right-of-way if construction in the right-of-way isn’t feasible. Water pipeline construction within the right-of-way would not require the removal of trees or fences that are on private property.  If an easement on private property is required, the property owner would be fairly compensated for the value of the easement, the property would be restored and landscaped to its pre-construction condition, or the property owner could receive additional compensation if the property couldn’t be fully restored to pre-construction conditions.

Statement we’ve heard: “Access to private property will be cut off during construction.”
Response: No, access to properties along Douglas Road will be maintained during construction.  The access might not be at the same location currently used, but access will be maintained and restored to its original location as quickly as possible.

Statement we’ve heard: “Construction on Douglas Road will last for years.”
Response: The details of construction are not yet known, and we cannot yet provide set dates for possible construction on Douglas Road.  Thornton will work with the design and construction contractors to plan an efficient project so as to minimize impacts to residents and travelers along Douglas Road.

Statement we’ve heard: “Thornton will condemn private property.”
Response: Thornton’s intent is that eminent domain would be used only as a last resort. While the State Constitution gives all home-rule governments in Colorado the authority to exercise eminent domain to acquire property, Thornton’s intention is to work with any landowner where an easement or access may be necessary for the water pipeline route.

Statement we’ve heard: “Douglas Road is the wrong place to put a water pipeline.”
Response: One of the advantages of constructing the water pipeline in Douglas Road is that the construction can be completed in publicly owned right-of-way instead of across private property.  Though construction across private property will be required in some areas, area residents expressed a preference for Thornton to use public right-of-way where possible and Douglas Road provides that opportunity to minimize the use of private property.

Statement we’ve heard: “Thornton is forcing Larimer County to improve Douglas Road.”
Response: No, the Douglas Road improvement project and the Thornton Water Project are independent of each other.  Larimer County’s Transportation Masterplan identified the need to reconstruct Douglas Road between Shields Street and Turnberry Road to address capacity and safety needs.  The Thornton Water Project is needed to deliver water that Thornton acquired in the mid-1980’s to the city.  Coordinating the Thornton Water Project with the County’s road improvement work will minimize disruption to Douglas Road residents.