Dennis from Morrison writes, “What's driving you crazy? When is the construction project on W. Quincy Ave. between S. Arbutus Way and S. Wright Way going to be completed? Jeffco widened Quincy Ave. and built a retaining wall along the road. The wall has been done for over a year, yet the road is not finished and still coned off. What gives? Was this project even necessary?”
Long-term construction projects are always a source of frustration, Dennis. You are dealing with just the start of a large construction project that Jefferson County hopes will make Quincy Avenue between West Tufts Avenue and South Simms Street easier to navigate for drivers, bike riders and pedestrians by adding sidewalks and bike lanes and balancing the number of travel lanes.
The West Quincy Avenue Corridor Improvement project is being built out in three phases and is currently only about 20% complete. The work to construct the retaining wall you mentioned was the completion of phase 2-A. The majority of Phase 2 will be completed over the next two years as they widen West Quincy Avenue from South Beech Way to South Swadley Court to an arterial standard.
Jefferson County and Concrete Express started phase two of this project in December 2021 by working on some drainage improvements and coordinating that work with utility relocations.
Dixie Shear, resident engineer with Jefferson County, tells me this project is complicated because of the large number of utilities within the roadway that have to be moved and accounted for. Those utility improvements are underway and will continue through the year.
Because this type of relocation work involved lots of digging, traffic patterns will be changing throughout the duration of the project.
Even the first part of this project had its challenges. Jefferson County had to go back and complete warranty work at the new West Quincy Ave and South Simms Street roundabout. This work required concrete repairs to the first phase of the project, which included construction of the roundabout. Those repairs were finished in November 2021.
Regarding your question, Dennis, if this project was even necessary, Shear tells me the road needed to be rebuilt. The soils were swelling due to inadequate drainage and that was messing up the integrity of the road. So, Jefferson County transportation engineers turned this problem into an opportunity to use the existing right-of-way and create a consistent three-lane cross section.
Their goal with this design is to help to better control speeding while still allowing room for left-turning vehicles to not impede traffic flow. They also hope the dedicated bike lanes will create a separation between slower moving bikes and vehicles to make it safer for both forms of transportation.
Shear tells me because this segment of West Quincy Avenue is in a residential area, most residents in the area appreciate the benefit of better bike and pedestrian improvements and a safer roadway that will result but also realize that long-term construction projects are always a source of frustration, and they are trying to be sensitive to the impacts of construction on everyone involved.
The full roadway construction as part of Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in spring 2022 and will run through 2023. The final phase is scheduled to start in 2024 and be finished that same year. The county has budgeted $18 million for the entire project.
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