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Piney Creek Culvert

Flooding and sediment create hazards for pedestrians.

The Piney Creek culvert that conveys stormwater underneath the intersection of Arapahoe Road and South Liverpool Street will be permanently closed to people due to increased safety risks related to flooding and sediment.

Over the last few years, the city of Aurora has evaluated multiple alternatives for the concrete box culvert under the intersection of Arapahoe Road and Liverpool Street that conveys Piney Creek and a multi-use trail under the intersection. 

The culvert was constructed in the early 2000s and was designed to convey stormwater. It was not designed for pedestrian and bicycle usage, and it is unknown why a sidewalk leading to the culvert was included in the design. Piney Creek is now conveying increased base flows for which the culvert was designed; however, the underpass sidewalk now sees frequent flooding and sedimentation, creating an unsafe and dangerous condition.

The closure is happening after the city of Aurora analyzed multiple alternatives to reduce flooding and sedimentation in the culvert and allow for safe pedestrian usage. None of the alternatives analyzed would have provided a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. The city determined the alternatives were cost prohibitive or only partially effective.

On April 4, 2024, city representatives from Aurora Water, Public Works, and Parks, Recreation and Open Space met with Arapahoe County Public Works and Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority (SEMSWA) and Ward VI Council Member Fran├žoise Bergan to discuss the engineering evaluations that were conducted and the history all parties collectively have on the project.

SEMSWA described a similar situation located near Quebec Street and Arapahoe Road where a retaining wall was constructed to keep flooding and sediment out of a stormwater box culvert during lower flow events. While the retaining wall design did keep some flooding and sediment off the trail, it resulted in an increase in maintenance and increased unsafe conditions. Ultimately, this "solution" was abandoned, and the approach sidewalks were removed in the manner that is planned for the Arapahoe Road and Liverpool Street box culvert to prevent access to the unsafe conditions by trail users.

As the safety of trail users is paramount, the city has chosen to close the underpass trail permanently.

The city of Aurora recently completed at-grade improvements to enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety and travel at this intersection.

Piney Creek Trail users must cross at grade at the intersection, which features newly widened sidewalks and new curb ramps.

For questions, call 303.739.7300 or email [email protected].

This map shows the intersection of Liverpool and Arapahoe where a culvert is being closed to pedestrians and sidewalks are being eliminated.

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