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Park Ave West bridge work causes traffic mess for those heading into downtown Denver

Repair work could last more than a week
Posted at 3:44 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 20:04:02-05

DENVER – Those heading into Downtown Denver from Park Avenue West may want to consider another route for the week.

Denver Public Works employees said bridge maintenance at Wewatta shut down two inbound lanes at the intersection.

The work caused a traffic mess on Tuesday morning. Video captured from Airtracker-7 showed major back-ups in the area.

“We certainly understand peoples' frustrations. We totally get it,” Heather Burke with Denver Public Works said. “There's never a good time to do this kind of bridge work, but we need to get it done now so it's not a safety issue.”

Burke said the preventative maintenance stemmed from issues the department found during a recent inspection.

“We saw this bridge was in need of repairs and we determined, ‘Hey, it needs to get done now.’ When, you know, it's going to be a safety issue down the road,” Burke added.

While the department couldn’t elaborate on project specifics, repairs crews were on-scene on Tuesday.

“The reason the lanes are closed is for safety,” Burke explained, “Our crews are working under the bridge.”

On the street level, Tuesday’s hold up took many drivers by surprise. While stuck in the Park Ave West traffic, another driver told Denver7’s Amanda del Castillo that he was not expecting the slowdown.

“Not during the day, like this,” he said. A nightmare Public Works anticipates would be the case for the rest of the week.

Burke said the department should know more about a project timeline on Wednesday, “It could go possibly even longer.”

Lane closures along the arterial avenue will be in place around the clock.

Burke said, “Commuters, expect lane closures and delays along that stretch through the rest of the week. We understand your frustrations, but we appreciate everyone’s patience through this.”