DENVER (CBS4)– Just about a block away from the Central 70 Project construction, many people are living in the thick of the cone zone. The closure stretches from Steele/Vasquez to I-270 starting Friday at 10 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 23 at 5 a.m.
“The wind will blow the dust and it all comes through here,” George (who asked CBS4 not use his last name) said. “It’s increased traffic tenfold.”
George lives in the Swansea neighborhood – a small community that’s seen its fair share of traffic since CDOT began tearing things up along and around I-70.
“There’s only a couple of entrances and exits to the main thoroughfares from this neighborhood,” George explained, “So it’s kind of in a tight spot already. On top of that you have all this construction equipment moving in and out.”
With a full weekend closure of I-70 between Interstate 270 and Steele/Vasquez – George is bracing for even more traffic outside his home.
“That’s going to be huge. There’s going to be a lot of traffic,” he said. “I feel sorry for people from out of town having to try to commute to the airport.”
CDOT believes shutting down I-70 could save crews as much as two months on the project. The Colorado Department of Transportation recommends using I-270 to I-25 as an alternate route.
But those drivers only have to deal with the detour for two days. George and his neighbors have to put up with the mess for years. CDOT estimates the project will wrap up in 2022.
“You get so used to the [construction] signs a lot of the times you don’t notice they’ve updated something until you’re stuck in the middle of it and just have to figure your way out,” he told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.
A total of 32 girders will be lifted in place over the weekend to prepare for the new Colorado Boulevard bridge, each weighing 40 to 50 tons.
Despite the frustrating U-turns and bad traffic, George does look for the good in this situation.
“I see it as a positive where [CDOT] made efforts to the local community here, in the neighborhood,” he said.
A neighborhood George has grown to love, but definitely wouldn’t mind leaving for the next few days.
“I kind of wish we could be somewhere else this weekend and avoid all of the construction chaos it’s going to create,” he said.