The intersection of Parker and Arapahoe roads is in its final configuration.
“It’s good news,” said Mindy Crane, spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation. “The construction is pretty much complete and both roads are in their final alignments.”
She said road crews are completing some minor work in the area. For instance, there was some broken concrete. Repair work is being done on those pieces. Also, signage is being installed.
Kyle Grigsby, manager at the Foxfield Dairy Queen, said he has noticed improvements in traffic flow. “Getting off of southbound Parker Road and onto Arapahoe Road is great now. There’s no wait,” he said.
But Grigsby added that at about 6 p.m., if he looks west out of Dairy Queen’s window, he can see a line of headlights sitting on eastbound Arapahoe. “I’m not sure anything can ever be done about that,” he said.
According to CDOT, the total cost (design, right of way acquisition, and construction) for all phases of the construction was $50.4 million, including $26.4 million in federal funds, $15.1 million in state funds, and $8.9 million from Arapahoe County.
Costs include a complete de-icing system on the Parker Road bridge going over Arapahoe Road. Bridges tend to freeze before roadways do because cold air passes above and below the span.
“The de-icing system measures the pavement temperature and moisture on the road, then will spray the de-icing solution when needed,” Crane said. “When there’s inclement weather, CDOT is responsible for clearing 3,850 lane miles in the Denver-Metro area. The de-icing systems are a great help in keeping potentially problematic areas clear.”
In the spring, drivers will notice crews working on the landscaping in the area around the intersection. Some may have noticed the hay
bales with sticks poking out of them lining the roadways. The bales are there until springtime to prevent erosion before the landscaping is completed.
Improvements to the busy intersection have been planned since 1998 when an Environmental Assessment was completed. In the 12 years following, CDOT and Arapahoe County have worked together to find funding for the project, completing the smaller phases along the way.
The first project was completed in 2002 when the triple-lane ramp was constructed from southbound Parker Road to westbound Arapahoe Road. These improvements were followed by a project in 2007 that constructed the ring road, which intersects at Arapahoe Road and Lewiston Way, just east of Parker Road. (This road is part of the off-ramp from northbound Parker Road to Arapahoe Road while still providing access to the businesses along Lewiston Way.)
The most recent improvements took place in 2008 and 2009 when southbound Parker Road was widened between Lewiston Way and the ramp to westbound Arapahoe Road.