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Colorado Contractors Gear Up for Record-Setting Summer

Sat May 20, 2000 - West Edition
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A record amount of highway construction will be under way this year in metro Denver, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

This year, CDOT will have under contract $471 million in projects in the Denver area, about $100 million more than in 1999. The increase is due primarily to the bonding measure passed by voters last November.

“Last fall, voters said they wanted to see highway work move ahead as rapidly as possible and that’s exactly what we’re delivering,” said CDOT Executive Director Tom Norton. “With our ability to issue bonds, we can accelerate construction on critical projects statewide.”

In the Denver area, four major projects will be advanced this summer using the bond proceeds. Projects include the following:

• I-270 extension. This is the first phase of work to build an eastbound extension of I-270 between U.S. 36 and I-76, similar to the westbound extension that opened in February, will include construction of I-270 ramps at I-76. Without bonding, this project would not have started until 2002, now it starts in June. Cost: $32.5 million.

• I-76 and 120th Avenue Originally scheduled in 2004, this project will now get under way this fall, completing the reconstruction of this interchange in Adams County. Cost: $28 million.

• I-25 climbing lanes. Builds an additional lane in each direction between Castle Pines Parkway and Founders/Meadows Parkway. (The first phase of this project between Lincoln Avenue and Castle Pines will be done in August.) Work on the next 4.2 miles had not been scheduled until 2001, now it starts in July. Cost: $30 million.

• U.S. 285. Widening the 3.5-miles of U.S. 285 between Eagle Cliff Road and Foxton Road will begin in September, finishing the four-laning to Conifer. Previously, work had not been planned to start until 2004. Cost: $27.3 million.

In addition to the projects using the bonding proceeds, a variety of new and ongoing projects will affect drivers this summer.

More than $55 million in work is under way on U.S. 36, including widening for high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes between I-25 and Lowell Boulevard, reconstruction of interchanges at Pecos Street and Federal Boulevard, and building a direct connection between the HOV lanes on I-25 and U.S. 36.

On I-70 between I-25 and Brighton Boulevard, $69 million in work will be under way this year replacing the old viaduct with a new 10-lane structure. Work on the new eastbound structure is under way; work on the westbound viaduct will start in October 2000.

A new portion of C-470, extending the highway from I-70 north to U.S. 6, is under construction and will open in August. Also on C-470, widening to six lanes is under way between Morrison Road and I-70. The projects combined cost $23 million.

The next phase of construction at I-225 and Parker Road will start this summer, including a flyover from northbound Parker Road to southbound I-225. This $65-million project also includes a new parking garage at the Nine Mile Park-n-Ride. The garage is being built specifically to accommodate the future light rail line going from I-25 to a station at Parker Road.

Other new projects beginning this year include the following:

• Construction of a new exit ramp from eastbound Colfax Avenue to southbound I-25. The $8.5-million project starting in August also adds a lane on southbound I-25 between 13th Avenue and 6th Avenue

• Arapahoe Road and Parker Road. The $2 million in improvements include a new ramp from southbound Parker to westbound Arapahoe Road which will accommodate three right turn lanes. It also adds a second left turn lane from southbound Parker Road to eastbound Arapahoe Road and widens Arapahoe Road east of Parker Road. Work starts in August.

• Iliff Avenue and I-225. Starting in July, this interchange will be rebuilt, including a new ramp from northbound I-225 exiting to Iliff and a new loop ramp from eastbound Iliff to northbound I-225. Iliff is also widened. Cost: $4 million.

CDOT also will have more than $22 million in resurfacing projects under way this summer in the metro Denver area.

Paving projects are planned at: I-25 from 6th Avenue to 15th Street; I-70 between Colorado Boulevard and I-270; Federal Boulevard between U.S. 36 and 120th Avenue; Federal Boulevard from Colfax Avenue to Alameda Avenue; East Colfax Avenue between Peoria Street and I-225; West Colfax Avenue from Tabor Street to Kipling Street; 6th Avenue freeway from Wadsworth Boulevard to Simms/Union; and Parker Road between Jewell Avenue and Mississippi Avenue.

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