McCaslin Blvd. bridge construction could be tough go for commuters

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A mock-up of the planned diverging diamond interchange at McCaslin Boulevard and U.S. 36. (Photo: Town of Superior)

A mock-up of the planned diverging diamond interchange at McCaslin Boulevard and U.S. 36. (Photo: Town of Superior)

SUPERIOR, Colo. — The McCaslin Boulevard bridge over U.S. is expected to undergo a massive makeover as early as next month.

The major connector between Superior and Louisville will be transformed from a conventional highway crossing to the first diverging diamond interchange on the Front Range, according to the Daily Camera.

“When we’re done, we’ll have the most innovative diverging diamond interchange in the country,” Superior Public Works director Alex Ariniello told town leaders in a meeting Monday evening.

A diverging diamond interchange is intended to create safer and more efficient traffic patterns with features like fewer conflict points, better sight distance at turns, ramps dedicated to public transit, separate bike lanes and protected pedestrian crossings.

The $12.5 million McCaslin Boulevard bridge construction project is expected to wrap up in late 2015 and, while the end result could lead to better traffic patterns for all forms of transit, the interim could be a tough go for commuters, reported the newspaper.

Construction will be broken up into two phases.

From February through June, crews will remove the median on McCaslin and shift traffic to the west side, so as to work on the east side.

Phase two stands the potential to play havoc with traffic even more, as the loop directing southbound traffic east to Denver will shut down.

Pedestrian traffic will be closed by summer.

At Monday’s meeting, Ariniello addressed concerns about how the two-year construction process will effect local businesses and residents as well as traffic. He said he has been meeting with businesses owners about the project to work out possible obstacles.

Colorado Department of Transportation project manger Mark Gosselin added that crews are scheduled to do work on the project during times that will create the least amount of disruption for commuters and businesses.

“There will definitely be some short-term closures,” Gosselin said. “We’ll run these by (Louisville and Superior) and make sure we’re picking the right time and keeping the disruptions to a minimum.”

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