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Driving You Crazy: Why do some 470 ramps merge from the right and others from the left & the grating grates

Posted at 9:22 AM, Apr 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-08 11:22:48-04

Two questions related to the construction on C-470. First, Matt from Highlands Ranch writes, “What's driving you crazy? C-470 on ramp merging after the metering lights is inconsistent. Some ramps have signs showing the right lane merging into the left lane, while other ramps show the left lane merging into the right lane. Plus, during construction, the merge direction signs are placed in various spots before the metering lights instead of after the metering lights, so the signs would be visible while you're stopped at the metering light. The poor sign placement combined with the inconsistent merging direction makes it very challenging to do the right thing. I think most drivers would do the right thing if it's easier for them to determine what that right thing is.”

Next, Jamie in Highlands Ranch writes, “What's driving you crazy? Are they going to fix the obnoxious drainage grates on C-470?”

Matt, this is just the dance we have to do as we drivers share the floor with construction workers in an active construction zone. As CDOT’s Tamara Rollison tells me, the alignment is constantly changing to allow crews to continue to do their work.

“In an effort to maintain maximum volume of vehicles through the project during construction, crews complete the widening of on- and off-ramps in multiple phases. During the different phases of ramp construction, alignment of the ramps serves as the basis for the traffic control operations and ramp merging.”

MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

For example, when there is an on-ramp that has the lanes painted in a way that indicate a left lane merge is needed to get into the right lane, the signs will be placed accordingly. The exact spot on the ramp the signs are ultimately places also depends on the spot where the lanes merge together and the available land in the construction zone that can accommodate the sign. That space, since we are talking about an active construction zone, is limited so the workers will try to pick the safest and most secure spot. Often those spots are not in the optimal location and might be located before or after the metering signals.

The project managers are constantly monitoring the signage and safety of the project. If you would like to pass your comments onto them, they have a hotline and email set up. Call 303-347-0507 or email

The answer for you Jamie is yes and no. The grates aren’t broken so they don’t need to be fixed. What is happening is that you are driving on the newly installed grates that will handle all the runoff during our severe weather season. What will make your drive better Jamie is when the lanes are shifted back towards the center of the highway. You are right now driving on what will be the right shoulder, so construction can be finished in the center part of 470. When that work is done they will shift the lanes to the permanent configuration and the grating grates will be only a problem if you break down and pull off to the shoulder.

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 20 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.