ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- Many drivers will notice a positive change in their commute as a major construction project has been completed.
Crews recently finished work on the interchange at Interstate 25 and Arapahoe Road.
But drivers were not the only ones who felt the construction headache. Businesses along the interchange are also breathing a sigh of relief now that the project is complete.
“Everything dropped off pretty heavily for us,” said David Evenson, general manager of Brothers BBQ.
It’s been nearly two years of construction cones and detours at the interchange. For restaurants such as Brothers BBQ, sales took a big hit.
“We lost 15 to 20 percent each week of construction,” Evenson said.
It was not alone. El Parral Mexican Restaurant also saw fewer customers during construction.
“It’s been a hassle. It’s been really bad,” manager Rosa Valdez said.
But the Colorado Department of Transportation said if drivers and businesses could put up with the short-term inconvenience, the long-term benefits will pay off.
It said the project will help reduce congestion while improving traffic flow and safety.
Crews reconstructed the bridge over Arapahoe Road, realigned the frontage road, constructed an additional westbound lane on Arapahoe Road, added noise walls and added triple left turn lanes from the I-25 off-ramps to help cut down on commute times.
“Arapahoe Road is the main street for the city of Centennial. This is the only way to get out east and west in an efficient way and now it’s going to be even more efficient,” Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon said.
The project construction budget was $66 million. Crews plan to add landscaping in the spring.