Rosalyn from Aurora writes, “What’s driving you crazy? I would like to bring your attention to the Pothole Roadway of Denver/Aurora (not sure of jurisdiction)! The roadway is on Iliff from Parker Road to Quebec where Iliff turns into Evans. That street is so damaged and downright ragged, the traffic flow is impeded because you have to dodge all the pot holes and sloppy repairs!!!! This stretch has been this way for over a year or more and all that is done is sloppy pothole filling. Do you know if there are any plans to repave this street? Both the west and east sides of Iliff need to be redone. Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate you!”
You are right Rosalyn, that section of roadway is in awful shape. I almost lost a tire recently from a massive pothole. I have good news and bad news. You will have to continue to dodge those road craters as the potholes will stay for now in lieu of a much larger rebuild of that entire section of Iliff between Quebec and Parker Road.
That section of Iliff is maintained by Arapahoe County. Arapahoe County Public Works Director Bryan Weimer tells me since construction will start the first week of August, there is no point in spending money on temporary repairs.
“Road and Bridge has continued to patch the roadway from a safety perspective, but we are limiting the maintenance expenditure because it is ultimately a throwaway given the improvements being made," Weimer said.
Arapahoe County has been planning improvements on Iliff Avenue for a long time, even before they completed a study of that busy corridor back in February 2015. The study looked at the concerns and problems by drivers, pedestrians, bike riders and public transportation users within the Iliff Avenue Corridor and developed long-term solutions to address those issues.
Arapahoe County says the corridor study “evaluated and identified improvements to transportation system mobility, safety, and reliability along the corridor. Water quality enhancements and storm water conveyance needs associated with the roadway infrastructure improvements were also evaluated and recommended.”
The design and environmental clearance process took three years. It was another three years to complete the right-of-way plans and acquisitions. And now it is time for construction.
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There is a long list of the planned improvements. Some of the highlights include keeping all four lanes (two eastbound and two westbound) along Iliff Avenue while adding acceleration and deceleration lanes. The county anticipates the new turn lanes will reduce intersection delay and queues with an estimated reduction in peak hour travel times of 20% to 50%.
Modify most intersections with new traffic signals with signal progression optimization, signal detection/video monitoring and signal communication and equipment upgrades. The county says the reconstructed intersections will incorporate additional safety measures for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians with predicted crash reduction of 5% or more along the corridor.
Adding bike lanes and sidewalks between Rosemary Street and Dayton Way as well as a multi-use path at the east and west ends of corridor. The dedicated bike lanes and improved multi-use path should reduce conflicts between vehicles and bike riders.
Enhancing the transit stops with right turn acceleration/deceleration lanes that will provide bus pull-out and queue jumping. The sidewalks, multi-use paths and crosswalks will also be improved.
The project may provide either landscaped medians or improved hardscaped medians, depending on decisions by a separate entity from the county regarding long-term operation and maintenance.
The construction contract was awarded to CEI Constructors for this $25.6 million project. Arapahoe County estimates the work will take about a year and a half to complete and should be done by winter 2023.
More information is available about the road work from Arapahoe County:
Project Webpage: www.arapahoegov.com/iliffcorridor [arapahoegov.com]
Denver7 traffic anchor 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 iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.