Hayley from Denver writes,“What's driving you crazy? The powers that be have been doing construction on Park Ave. West to downtown since summer 2021. I never see people actually working there, and nothing has changed. What are they doing?! A four-lane went to two lanes and it is MADDENING because it clogs up traffic horrifically every single morning. Please just open it back up!”
You are right, Hayley. That the bridge and roadway rehabilitation project on Park Avenue West heading into and out of downtown Denver between Coors Field and I-25 has been a major pain for morning and afternoon commuters.
The project is desperately needed as the city is working to extend the life of the 25-year-old bridge that was rated as just fair. The project is also incorporating those bridge repairs with traffic signal replacements at Wazee and Delgany streets, as well as new concrete curb ramps, signage, sidewalk improvements and striping.
While it looks like there isn’t anyone working when you drive by, some of the crews have been just out of sight working under the bridge on the expansion joints. The structure has seen significant wear to those expansion joints as well as corrosion of the steel girders, the moveable bearings and the bridge deck.
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It was the deteriorating condition of the bridge deck that was of most concern for city transportation managers. The deck was rated in fair condition and was deteriorating at an increased rate each year.
Crews have been working the past year on those major maintenance improvements to increase the structure’s reliability and decrease the likelihood of numerous, disruptive emergency closures in the future.
Currently, workers have completed most of the bridge and wall repairs, including the replacement of about 651 linear feet of expansion joints and repairing about 2,000 square feet of the concrete deck.
Right now, and over the next month or two, workers are finishing repairs to the expansion joints as well as paving and waterproofing the roadway surface. This new coating to exterior and damaged girders will help prevent water from infiltrating the structure below the surface. This coating should prevent future corrosion of the steel and maintain the integrity of the viaduct.
Separately, the paving work is what is requiring the intermittent and extended lane closures on both inbound and outbound Park Avenue, and that is what is causing the traffic delays especially from I-25 to downtown Denver.
This paving work and lane closures is scheduled to run through this spring and the overall project is scheduled to be complete this fall.
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 any podcast app including iTunes , Stitcher , Spotify and Podbean.