Central City Parkway

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Central City Parkway
Route information
Length: 8.4 mi[1] (13.5 km)
Existed: 2003 – present
Major junctions
South end: Interstate 70 Exit 243
North end: Nevada Street in Central City
Location
Counties: Clear Creek, Gilpin
Highway system
Colorado State Highways

The Central City Parkway is a four-lane highway in Colorado, running from I-70 near Idaho Springs to the historic mining town and gambling area of Central City. Opened on November 19, 2004, the Parkway provides direct access to Central City. The length of the Parkway is 8.4 miles (13 km), and it can be traveled in about twelve minutes. As part of the opening ceremonies in 2004, 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner, Buddy Lazier, made the trip from I-70 to Central City's historic downtown in three minutes.

Route description[edit]

The parkway begins at I-70, which is there concurrent with U.S. Highway 6 and U.S. Highway 40. At the interchange, CR 314 serves as a frontage road. Heading northward, the parkway abruptly turns left.[2] After passing through several hills in a forested area, the road curves around again and heads northeastward, winding through hills. At the Clear Creek/Gilpin county line, the road turns northward, then northeastward, passing into a more heavily forested area.[2] Through the drive, the road continues to wind between northward and westward before entering the vicinity of Central City, where it meets its terminus at Nevada Street. At the terminus, Nevada Street curves abruptly eastward, making both northward and eastward continuations at the intersection named as Nevada Street.[2]

History[edit]

Limited-stakes gambling was approved by Colorado voters in 1990 in the towns of Central City, Black Hawk and Cripple Creek. Black Hawk lies a mile closer to the Denver area along State Highway 119, the primary route to the area from Interstate 70, spurring planning for a direct route to Central City from I-70 that began in 1993.[1]

Central City Parkway archway upon entering from I-70

In the mid-1990s, the city of Black Hawk backed a proposal for a state-funded widening of Highway 119 including a tunnel that would link to I-70 one mile (1.6 km) closer to Denver than Central City's off-ramp.[3] Central City continued with its plans for a south access highway despite the city of Black Hawk acquiring land in the path of the proposed road. The issue was brought before a Denver grand jury that decided Black Hawk officials had misspent taxpayer money. Central City then sued Black Hawk for $100 million; Black Hawk countersued. Prior to dropping the lawsuit, the road was funded by bonds with a 30-year tax levy on business property to pay for the road.[4]

Six months before the parkway opened, a report issued by gambling industry consultant Gaming & Resort Development predicted the road would be more beneficial to Black Hawk than to Central City.[5]

Central City's gaming revenues have substantially increased since the road's opening in November 2004 but have not reached industry and city projections. Since the Parkway's opening, three casinos in Central City have opened and two, under the same ownership, have closed (The Teller House in July 2005 and Scarlet's Casino in September 2006).[6] Century Casinos opened in July, 2006.

Between I-70 and Central City, there is only one public exit road from the Central City Parkway: the Hidee Mine Road at mile 6.3. This road leads to the Hidee Gold Mine, which offers mine tours and gold panning, and is open to the public.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location Mile km Destinations Notes
Clear Creek   0.0 0.0 I‑70 / US 6 / US 40 Interchange
Gilpin Central City 8.4 13.5 Nevada St.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Flynn, Kevin (2003-10-04). "Highway to link Central City, I-70". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved on 2007-01-31.
  2. ^ a b c "Bing Maps". Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  3. ^ O'Driscoll, Patrick (22 July 2004). "Colorado town bets big on road to gambling riches". USA Today. p. 3A. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Kelly, David (2004-11-20). Placing Its Bets on a Parkway. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2007-01-31.
  5. ^ Palermo, William J. (2004). "A Tale of Two Cities: An in-depth analysis of the market dynamics and outlook for Central City & Black Hawk". Gaming & Resort Development, Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-08-15. Retrieved 2007-01-31. "Without additional master planning, Black Hawk is likely to benefit more directly from the new South Access Highway than is Central City." 
  6. ^ Vuong, Andy (2006-09-06). "Second Central City casino folds". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 2006-12-13. Retrieved 2007-01-31. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Central City Parkway at Wikimedia Commons

Route map: Google / Bing