Construction is under way on a nearly $9.4 million project to revamp a three-quarter mile stretch of U.S. Highway 6 & 50 near the Mesa Mall in Grand Junction.
The comprehensive project will include two additional driving lanes as well as a new storm water system, updated signals and curbs, gutters, sidewalks and landscaping.
The end result should be a more accessible and safe stretch of highway, said Dave Eller, transportation director of the Colorado Department of Transportation Region 3, an area which encompasses 14 counties in Western Colorado.
“Adding lanes, improving access points and upgrading signals will greatly improve safety and mobility for motorists and pedestrians,” Eller said.
Lawson Construction of Loveland was awarded a $9.36 million contract for the project. Of that, $4 million will come from the state Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery (FASTER) safety fund.
Construction will occur in phases to maintain two lanes of traffic through the zone. During the first phase, west-bound lanes will be removed and replaced, shifting traffic to east-bound lanes. During the second phase, east-bound lanes will be replaced as traffic is diverted to the new west-bound lanes. Finally, traffic will be diverted to outside lanes while the center turn lane is replaced.
Access to businesses in the construction zone will remain open, although access points will be altered. Individual entrances to the Mesa Mall from the highway will be closed at various times, but two of the three entrances will remain open at all times.
Left turns in the zone will be allowed only at intersections with traffic signals. Some of the turnoffs onto side access roads also will be closed.
Mainline paving, which does not include frontage roads, is scheduled for completion in November. Work on the project will be suspended from Nov. 17 through the end of February. Work is scheduled to resume in March to complete the project by mid-April.