SHERIDAN, Colo. - This weekend poses a catch-22 for the 70,000 drivers who use Santa Fe Drive between Hampden and Belleview Avenues on a daily basis.
The railroad hazard that causes traffic to slow down at Oxford Avenue will be repaired by the Colorado Department of Transportation. To complete the repairs, CDOT will need to close both directions of Santa Fe Drive starting Friday night at 10 p.m. until Monday morning at 5:30 a.m.
"It's been, kind of, a little known about hazard around here for a long time," said Peerless Tire assistant manager Keith Gillogly. "Sometimes you hit it just right, it feels like you hit a curb."
Gillogly said he's repaired tires for drivers whose cars were damaged after driving over the railroad. The railroad crosses Santa Fe Drive, but the rubber between the tracks and the concrete have buckled and cracked in spots.
“Over the last several months, the roadway and the material between the rails have failed, creating an uneven driving surface,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Ron Buck. “In order to resolve the issues at this location, we must replace the railroad crossing including the roadway approaches and rail components. To complete the work in a safe and timely manner, both directions of Santa Fe Drive must remain closed for the duration of the weekend.”
Business and residential traffic will still be able to get access between Union and Oxford Avenues.
CDOT recommends that southbound through traffic detour at Hampden Avenue, then west to Federal Boulevard, south to Belleview Avenue and then east back to Santa Fe Drive. Northbound through traffic would reverse that, getting off at Belleview Avenue and going west to Federal Boulevard, north to Hampden Avenue and then east back to Santa Fe Drive.
Staying on Santa Fe Drive between Hampden and Belleview Avenues normally takes about three minutes.
7NEWS tested the southbound detour at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The detour took 10 minutes and 42 seconds. The northbound detour took exactly 10 minutes.
We found the southbound detour may be more time consuming. The Hampden Avenue exit onto Federal Boulevard has only one lane to turn southbound, which is likely to cause backups for drivers competing with other drivers also using the detour.