Bob in Aurora/Centennial/Arapahoe writes, “What’s driving you crazy? On Smoky Hill Rd at the E-470 overpass there are three lanes in either direction until you get close to the overpass. Then, the furthest right lane is "right turn only". This creates an unnecessary and artificial bottle neck going over the overpass, two lanes of traffic where there used to be three. The overpass is easily wide enough to accommodate three lanes in both directions. Let's get some paint out there and change this, take down the "right turn only" lanes, and get things moving.”
The problem Bob is really on the eastbound side of Smoky Hill Road going over the E470 bridge. The original configuration with two lanes going over the bridge and forcing the right lane to exit onto E470 was set up well before there was the current population boom in southeast Aurora. You are correct that the road could be configured to allow that third lane to be added over the bridge. However, the process to make the third lane appear is a bit more complex than just painting some new lines on the road.
Aurora Public Works tells me the modification would involve the relatively easy work of stripping up the old paint and then putting down new lane lines. It would also include a little more complicated work by making modifications at three traffic signals on both the east and west sides of the bridge.
The city of Aurora has been thinking about this change for a while. They tell me they are already in the process of drafting up an improvement plan in that area that they will then put on the table as funding becomes available.
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