Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — There are so many highway projects in the Denver area that it’s hard to keep track unless you're routinely reminded by a cracked windshield or damage to your car.
That’s happened to more than a dozen people the last few weeks on a busy stretch of Highway 86 that crews from the Colorado Department of Transportation are working to improve.
The $1.2-million project, which includes the laying of liquefied asphalt covered in gravel, is meant to maintain and protect the life of an existing street or road.
Greg Deiker has driven Highway 86 for 40 years, so when there's work on the road from Franktown to the Douglas-Elbert county line, it’s going to cause a headache.
"I can tell you Highway 86 is the most popular route through our entire county here,"Deiker said. “Nobody needs to be replacing a windshield for the fun of it."
Deiker has had to replace windshields on two of his vehicles after flying gravel pelted his cars.
"For crying out loud, I still have rocks on the front end of the truck," Deiker said. "It was just a rock chip yesterday, and today it's already run 12 inches."
Scrolling through Facebook community page posts shows that plenty of others have damage too.
Laurel Hanlon also has a crack on her windshield.
"I wasn't expecting the road to be in this bad of a condition," Hanlon said. "It was covered in gravel which they've never done before, and I thought that was a little bit weird."
According to the project contractor’s website, “It will improve the skid resistance to allow for a safer driving surface, improve the overall appearance, provide a weatherproof membrane to repel moisture from damaging the base and extends the useful life of the existing pavement.”
A CDOT spokesperson told Denver7 that 15 people have called about their windshields cracking. There are signs on the road to remind drivers of the reduced speed limit at times, but Deiker said it doesn't matter.
"I’m slowing down as much as I possibly can, but I’m 30 yards behind the guy in front of me, and I still got nailed," said Deiker.
The good news: The work on this portion of the road will be complete Wednesday and crews will then move on to Highway 119, the other part of the project. CDOT told Denver7 it plans to post more signs as the project is scheduled through mid-October.
If you have damage, call CDOT's hotline to file a claim at 720-504-4884.