Work to soon begin on Horizon Drive renovations

Vara Kusal
Vara Kusal

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Construction is scheduled to soon begin on what is hoped will be the first phase of renovations along Horizon Drive in Grand Junction to improve traffic flow and safety as well as make what proponents believe will be a better first impression on visitors.

“People are pretty excited about the project,” said Kara Kusal, manager of a business improvement district along Horizon Drive.

Work is expected to begin Sept. 15 and will include a new route for Visitor’s Way between Horizon Drive and the Grand Junction Visitors Center as well as two roundabouts at the intersection of Horizon Drive and Interstate Highway 70.

The $6.6 million project will be funded by a $4.6 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation as well as funding from the City of Grand Junction and Horizon Drive District. The district collects tax assessed on property within the district to pay for capital improvements.

M.A. Concrete Construction of Grand Junction will serve as contractor for the project.

Kusal said the work will begin with rerouting Visitors Way and then changes and renovations to the entrances of Zarlingo’s Auto and the Shell station north of I-70 and then the entrance to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel south of I-70.

Construction on the roundabouts is planned to begin early in 2016. While half of the roundabouts are constructed, traffic will be routed through the opposite side, Kusal said.

The first phase of construction should be complete by May, she said. Access will remain open to all businesses on Horizon Drive through the project, she added.

In addition to the road construction, the project will include the installation of a total of six large steel sculptures in the roundabouts depicting horses, Kusal said. “They’re going to be impressive.”

The project is part of what the district board has proposed as more extensive renovations along a 1.5-mile stretch of Horizon Drive between G and H Roads.

The design includes a center median and additional crosswalks to improve safety in an area where pedestrians have been killed trying to cross Horizon Drive.