The Rocky Mountains were supposed to be the place to be.
But the Colorado city of Boulder was only just getting to the top.
Now, Colorado has been named the world’s most elevated city in 2018.
The city’s elevation was set to rise to 1,074 feet above sea level by mid-September, but the city was only able to reach 1,062 feet on Aug. 19, thanks to the efforts of a team of engineers, scientists and residents.
The effort to raise the city’s 1,000-foot elevation mark has been a long time coming, but it’s finally made its mark, said Mayor Michael Nutter, who has worked closely with the team for the past few years.
The effort was sparked in 2017 when Colorado was awarded a state-of-the-art levee system by the National Park Service.
The process took three years and cost $8.4 million, but Nutter says the work is paying off, and he’s optimistic that Colorado will soon have a level-2 levee.
The team has been working in earnest for several months, as the city has made significant progress in lowering its elevation.
But they’re only just starting to make some of the big leaps.
For example, the city is now about 1,600 feet above the historic Colorado River, which stretches along the western border of the city.
Colorado is also 1,700 feet above average sea level, which is about 300 feet above normal.
The average elevation for a city in the continental United States is 1,650 feet.
The average elevation in Colorado, which sits just east of Denver, is 1 and a half times higher.
“When you look at a city like Boulder, which has the tallest and most beautiful skyline in the country, it’s going to be a real challenge for them to raise their elevation,” Nutter said.
Boulder’s elevation is about 2,100 feet higher than Colorado.
“That’s the biggest leap we’ve ever made in terms of elevation, period,” said Colleen Hahn, who lives near Boulder.
“And we’re really proud of that.”
Hahn said the city and its neighbors should be very proud of Colorado for the effort they’ve put into raising their elevation.
“It’s a good example of a city doing something they shouldn’t have to do,” Hahn said.
“We need to keep doing that.”
Colleen Hagen, Coloradans’ new top cityIn addition to the elevation rise, the team has also been working to reduce air pollution and make their community more green.
The team is planning a bike share program to bring people from other parts of the state into the city for bike rides and events.
Nutter says they’re also looking to expand their school system, which currently has about 40 schools.
He also wants to add more libraries, parks and recreational facilities.
“We have to take our community to the next level,” he said.
Nutters is optimistic that the team will continue to make significant progress as the community prepares to celebrate its elevation in 2019.
“I think we’ve got a pretty good shot of having it up there,” he told ABC News.