Residents express displeasure with Wadsworth Boulevard expansion

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Wadsworth Boulevard is about to undergo an $11 million makeover with construction starting next week on expansion to six lanes between Sixth and 10th avenues.

Orange cones and barrels have narrowed the street to two lanes in each direction. The Colorado Department of Transportation said that’s how it will be during the daytime, with the potential of lane closures overnight.

The addition of one lane in each direction will cause several businesses along the stretch to lose a portion of their property.

“I’m happy to see improvements in Lakewood, but as a small-business owner, I’m a little unimpressed with their taking of our property,” Jensen’s Flower and Garden owner Chris Wilson said.

For other business like Taco Bell, the loss of property takes away their drive-thru. That caused the fast food restaurant to close its doors in November and left Latoya Martin without a job.

“It was real convenient for me to walk right across the street from my house to work, but now I have to travel by car but figure out how to get out in this traffic,” Martin said.

CDOT held a public meeting Thursday night where residents also voiced their concerns.

“It’s all worth it if things have a wonderful ending,” said Tom Shields, who lives nearby. “But there’s no wonderful ending.”

Most agreed the area does need work, with more driving lanes, and better walking and biking paths. But it’s not going to be easy.

“It’s going to be a mess for a year and then make our lives more difficult trying to get out of the neighborhood,” Shields said.

CDOT expects the project to be completed by the end of this year. It just finished a stretch of Wadsworth just north of the project that has improved traffic, and it's hoping that’s the case with this expansion.

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