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Colorado Dream Homes Blog: Rueter Hess Reservoir

Hess Road misses the mark terribly

I am sad and unhappy with Hess Road.  I took it going back from Skiing yesterday.  Its a complete waste of time driving that road from the North.  If you are coming from Colorado Springs, then I'd imagine it would be awesome.  If you drive from the north you won't waste your time taking Hess Road you will just take Ridgegate Parkway to Mainstreet to Chambers to Hess...its much shorter.  I'm very disappointed.  It's a shame that Stroh Road didn't work out as the connector road because that would have been way better from a practical standpoint.  It's probably good for Rueter Hess Reservoir in the long run and the folks that live in the center of Parker.  But what a waste of taxpayer money for Douglas County.

Vital Hess Road Opening Delayed

For years Parker CO had only 2 ways to get to I-25, using either E-470 or Lincoln Avenue.  Both of those roads were extreme North Parker, so residents in the Southern boundaries of Parker were sort of trapped; for some going across Crowfoot Valley Road into Castle Rock made the most sense to get to I-25.  Otherwise you have to accept driving 7 miles of Parker Road to get out of Parker.  

For the last 2 years Hess road has been under construction, and now its being delayed a month due to lack of signage.  That is a pity, but when it opens it will certainly be a game changer!  For one thing, it will "expose" everyone driving on I-25 to where Parker is relative to Castle Pines North (pretty much directly East of it,) and also expose eveyone to the new Rueter-Hess Reservoir, which will certainly be the crown jewel of Douglas County some day and a major landmark for Parker.

It will also alter traffic patterns throughout Parker. With the Ridgegate Parkway/Mainstreet access in place now, adding Hess Road means even more people will stay off Lincoln, which I'm sure is going to please the homeowners that back to Lincoln.  I always thought Lincoln would become an Arapahoe Road and would have to be 3 lanes through Parker, but no way that is happening now.  I think its possible that more cars will travel on Mainstreet and Hess Road combined to get to I-25 than Lincoln.   

Will it change home values in Parker CO?  That remains to be seen.  BUT the homeowners in Horseshoe Ridge and Antelope Heights will certainly benefit from the double-whammy of Rueter-Hess and Hess Road being right next to them.  You think that Realtors will play this up when listing homes there?  You better believe it.  And that might drive up demand.  

The Birth of a Parker CO Reservoir


Parker CO homes and real estate and property management


This is big...really really big!  I had the priviledge of getting a private tour of the Parker Reuter Hess Reservoir on September 25th 2011 by 2 construction supervisors and none other than the father of the whole project- Frank Yeager (the dam is named after him now.)  I doubt I'll ever be able to do that again at any time anywhere.  They will just finish up the construction phase in a month or two after 4 years of construction, so all we can do is watch the FILLING phase from afar now!  

I got to walk along the top of the concrete super-structure to the tip of it, which was way cool!!  Its 185 feet looking straight that water is going to be DEEP!  I was here last year in August 2010, when they had the Open House and we got to drive on the dam, then through the bottom of the reservoir.  Now that road is under water as you can see in the picture!  Its basically doubled in size in a years time.  And as you can see its got a LONG LONG way to go. So long that is mindboggling actually. It will take years to fill this up. They are pumping the water from a small building off Stroh Road by Cherry Creek, and there is a 'movable dam' that has baffles in it that can rise and fall according to how much they want to pump out of it.  However, even in the wettest years, this won't come close to being enough water to fill it by itself.  Ever been to Cherry Creek?  Its not exactly a huge creek.  Most of the water will have to be pumped from other sources around Colorado, and that is going to be expensive.  So sit tight everyone hope you all have a lot of patience and pass those bond issues for the pipelines!  

Never-the-less, this is an incredible amenity for Parker CO and all of Douglas County.  The size is staggering.  It will be 50% larger than Cherry Creek Reservoir.  It was planned as a 16,000 acre feet storage facility, and it grew into a 72,000 acre foot facility.  The water depth at the dam is going to be 185 feet when full to capacity, which is projected to only happen 2 times in the next 50 years, but MAN that is really deep.  

There are plans for a regional park, disc golf, dog park, habitat preserve, nature center, swim beach, boat laundh (non-motorized's a water supply right?) fishing, and many trails.  The habitat preserve area shows pedestrian/hiking, biking, equestrian use, and overlooks.  These are all great plans, but here is what else I know.  Guess how much money is allocated to these features?  ZERO.  None of these things are going to happen anytime soon.  

The Parker Water and Sanitation District is a WATER COMPANY, not a RECREATION entity, so they have nothing to do with any of these plans for one thing.  All they have been focusing on is the dam construction.  There are no roads being built to have access to the reservoir, no boat ramps being built, no beaches, trails or anything.  You will see it from the new Hess Road that will skirt it on the North side and connect to Castle Pines Parkway, but you won't be able to get close to it. I bet we are looking at waiting for years with the economy we have right now, and the funds will have to be raised by Douglas County or The State of Colorado with lottery funds.  So anyone that is anxiously waiting for the reservoir to open because they feel like they are 'entitled' to its use right away are going to be highly disappointed!  Its sole purpose is for water storage.  Recreation is not even on the radar with no funds. 

What IS COOL is that the animals have discovered it, and are making daily treks to it.  So the elk, deer, foxes, coyotes birds  etc. will all have it on their radar, and that will change how they roam around the area guaranteed. 

Will it help Parker CO home values?  I seriously doubt it.  What it WILL do is maintain them though, because it will help protect our future water supplies.  And it will certainly put Parker CO on the map, and eventually be a regional draw (once its filled.)

For more pictures of Parker CO Reuter Hess Reservoir click here







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