Roadwork by mall almost finished

Construction on U.S. Highway 6&50 between 24 and 24 3/4 roads is scheduled to wrap up Friday.

The $11 million Colorado Department of Transportation project originally was scheduled to end April 19. But bad weather, utility issues and problems getting soil to support concrete on the formerly asphalt roadway pushed back the deadline, according to Project Manager Jim Sampson of Lawson Construction, the main contractor on the project.

“We had some weather days scheduled in, but there turned out to be several more than we had anticipated,” Sampson said in a news release.

The project began July 12 last year and went on a winter recess between Nov. 17 and Feb. 8. The first half of the project focused mainly on the north side of the highway, while the second half finished up work on the south side of the highway and in the median.

Gary Grand, manager of Office Depot at 2451 U.S. 6&50, said customer traffic was “significantly down” at his south-side store in March, when construction limited access to the retailer.

“We’re looking forward to going back to normal,” Grand said.

Normal started creeping back six weeks ago when the Frontage Road alongside the store reopened completely. Grand expects more business to trickle in once a turn lane in front of the store is finished this week.

The finished product will feature six lanes, updated traffic-signal and storm-sewer systems, new gutters, curbs and sidewalks, resurfaced side streets and new lighting and landscaping.

J.D. Black, an administrative staffer and sales representative with Mor Storage, 2465 U.S. 6&50, said the sidewalk work has brought more pedestrian traffic by his store, and the landscaping is lending to “obvious beautification” of the area.

“We’re all excited to see it open,” Black said.

Black and Grand don’t expect to get more traffic at their stores following construction, but CDOT Resident Engineer Jason Smith predicts more traffic will at least pass by the area in years to come. The two additional lanes will help reduce congestion as the number of vehicles traveling the remodeled stretch of highway increase from 30,000 a day now to 40,000 a day by 2030, he said.


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