Roxanne from Highlands Ranch writes, “Any idea when the construction at Quebec and University will be complete?”
Yes, late 2024. Back to you in the studio.
That is a project that has affected me Roxanne as well as thousands of other Highlands Ranch drivers. Ask anyone in that part of Douglas County and they will say that is a rough intersection with a lot of traffic. Douglas County knew the increased traffic volume issue needed to be addressed and the concrete was past its lifetime and needed to be replaced.
What Douglas County is doing is rebuilding and reconfiguring the entire intersection at University/Lincoln and Quebec. The rebuild includes an additional eastbound and westbound lane on Lincoln Avenue and on University Boulevard. They are creating a new right-turn-only lane from southbound Quebec to westbound University Boulevard. There will be new raised pedestrian safety islands to making crossing the street easier and they will be installing a new traffic signal system.
Chapter one of this project started August 14, just after the school year started, making traffic that much worse. But prior to construction starting, traffic studies showed starting construction in the late summer would result in the smallest impact possible to the traveling public, according to Douglas County leaders. It also showed doing the construction in two phases would increase the overall time frame of the project, but would also reduce the daily impact to drivers.
The daily traffic jams due to project lane restrictions have been significant, so much so that many drivers at the start of the project were cutting through the Dutch Creek neighborhood. Douglas County leaders had to close the road, saying that residential road was built for the neighborhood, not as a regional road. When traffic from main roads overflows into neighborhood roads, Douglas County leaders said it can cause a safety issue for residents trying to back out of driveways and access main roads. The county has since reopened Dutch Creek at Quebec.
The end of chapter one means the project will shut down for the winter. Since the roadway is being rebuilt using concrete, the air temperature needs to be well above freezing to allow the concrete to set properly. According to Unique Paving Materials, when the air temperature falls below 40°F, the chemical reactions that strengthen concrete slow down and can lead to a weaker final material. If concrete curing temperatures are below freezing, the water inside the concrete can freeze and expand, resulting in cracks.
During the winter construction break, Douglas County will keep all lanes through the intersection open, just like they were before the construction started. All traffic control devices will be removed until construction resumes in March 2024. That is when the second part of the major road work will restart— weather permitting. When construction does resume, it will bring much more significant lane restrictions and delays as workers will rebuild the center part of the roadways. Douglas County leaders suggest drivers consider an alternate route to bypass construction at this intersection. Possible alternative routes include Wildcat Reserve Parkway, McArthur Ranch Road, Park Meadows Drive, Cresthill Lane and C-470.
This $13 million project is completely funded by Douglas County, revenue from property taxes and the highway user fee. Again, it's expected to be significantly completed in late 2024.
Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 25 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook,Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on any podcast app including iTunes, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Podbean.