As of March 2020, the Jefferson Parkway faces a number of serious setbacks. In December 2019 one of the three consortia qualified to bid on the construction and operation of the Parkway withdrew from the procurement process, citing internal analysis which concluded the revenue from operating the Parkway would not cover the cost of constructing it.
The consortium that withdrew also cited “political will” and “ongoing environmental concerns,” referring to the fact that the Broomfield City Council in 2019 delayed funding the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) while conducting due diligence on the public health risk of constructing the Parkway through plutonium-contaminated soil. This hesitation by the Broomfield City Council was the direct result of civic engagement by a number of citizens, organizations, and downwind Broomfield residents concerned about Parkway construction resuspending plutonium oxide dust into the air, where it could blow into populated areas and be inhaled. On February 25th, 2020 the Broomfield City Council voted unanimously to withdraw from JPPHA, terminating Broomfield’s participation in, and financial support of, the Jefferson Parkway project. Meanwhile a second JPPHA member government, Jefferson County, failed to pass its ballot measure 1A in November 2019, that would have allowed it to keep and spend excess tax revenues collected. Consequently, Jefferson County faces a $16M budget shortfall in 2020, and two Jefferson County Commissioners told the JPPHA Chairman and Executive Director on January 21st, 2020 that Jefferson County can’t afford the Jefferson Parkway project at this time. And then the coronavirus pandemic hit America and Colorado. The future of the Jefferson Parkway project is uncertain, but concerned citizens must remain vigilant and engaged.