Season of major road construction arrives in metro Denver

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Alameda and Sable construction.

DENVER — Memorial Day weekend might mark the start of summer fun, but it also marks the the beginning of a travel headache.

Another road construction project is about to begin.

It’s already underway in Golden where crews have been busy reconfiguring one of the main gateways into the city on U.S. 6.

The $25 million project will lower U.S. 6 by about 22 feet below its current alignment to allow a bridge to be built above the highway, providing cyclists and pedestrians an easier and safer path across the busy highway.

“This has always been a very dangerous intersection and there’s a lot of things they could have done that wouldn’t have cost as much money, but this will be the ultimate solution I guess,” a cyclist said.

“When the project is complete, it’s going to make for a much safer drive for bicyclists and drivers,” said Bob Wilson, a spokesman with the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Officials in Golden call the project the big fish in their small pond. The project will take 18 months to complete and will at least temporarily disrupt traffic until September 2017.

“It will be back up all the way to the Taj Mahal,” one cyclist said.

Golden isn’t alone. Even bigger projects are planned for this summer on Interstate 25.

CDOT is going to spend $78 million expanding HOV and toll lanes between Highway 36 and E-470. It’s a project that will take two years to complete.

In Highlands Ranch, an even bigger project is planned. CDOT will spend $250 million adding several toll lanes to ease congestion. That project will begin in June and will take three years to complete.

They are projects that will produce headaches and frustration in the short term, but are ultimately aimed at solving a bigger headache: Constant congestion.

“Yeah, it’s always a pain with all the people that have moved to Colorado in the past five to 10 years. Traffic on this side of town is infinitely worse,” a Golden resident said.