Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet led a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city's newest icon, the Leaf Pedestrian Bridge, June 28 at the Snooze breakfast restaurant. Millet was just the first of several …
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Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet led a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the city's newest icon, the Leaf Pedestrian Bridge, June 28 at the Snooze breakfast restaurant.
Millet was just the first of several speakers at the event, a list that included representatives from all six funding partners of the bridge: Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas; Sharon Van Ramshorst, chair of the Park Meadows Metro District; Keith Simon, executive vice president of the RidgeGate community; Scott LaBrash, chair of the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District; Rob Orban, chair of the Heritage Hills Metro District; and Millet.
“This iconic structure represents the City of Lone Tree's commitment to its citizens, our collaboration with our tremendous funding partners and our inherent belief in a visionary transportation network that really includes all of the above,” Millet said.
Speakers of the ceremony echoed what the city and its partners have said about the bridge from the beginning. Millet and others spoke about the bridge's usefulness as a connection to the Heritage Hills community from the RidgeGate community across Lincoln Avenue, between Bellwether Lane and Commons Street just west of I-25.
“I think the bridge is a very nice, symbolic linkage of the original part of Lone Tree and the new part of Lone Tree,” Simon said, “but more importantly it's a safer way for people to get across what has been a pretty busy street.”
The bridge, between all six of its partners, cost about $7 million to build and took almost a year to complete. It officially opened to the public in late May. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was the final touch on what has been a project nearly three years in the making.
So far, the most frequent users of the bridge have been residents of the nearby Heritage Hills and RidgeGate communities, as well as employees of Charles Schwab, just a few blocks east of the bridge. The bridge connects the Willow Creek Trail as well, providing safer passage for bikers and walkers. Millet and the other representatives also touted the bridge for its eventual part in relieving traffic on Lincoln Avenue.
Thomas said the bridge contributes to Lone Tree's goal of being a walkable community and Douglas County's reputation for being the healthiest county in the state and country.
Some residents have criticized the cost of the bridge, while others have taken aim at the look of the structure, which includes an 80-foot-tall leaf sculpture on the south end.
But Simon believes the bridge's appearance is a benefit.
“I think it's great when a little bit of extra money is spent on the design of these elements of public infrastructure,” Simon said, “because they're going to be around for a long time, so they might as well look good.”
Millet remains positive about the bridge's purpose and what it means to the city.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Millet said, “but today it's all beautiful, people.”
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