CDOT nears completion on Gap Project construction in Frisco |

CDOT nears completion on Gap Project construction in Frisco

Crews continue to anticipate a late-October finish

Traffic cones and barrels abound Aug. 23 at the intersection of Colorado Highway 9 and Frisco’s Main Street as part of the Gap Project, which is scheduled to wrap up in October.
Joel Wexler/For the Summit Daily News

Drivers rejoice: The end of the Gap Project is within sight.

The $14 million effort to widen Colorado Highway 9 to four lanes in Frisco began in May 2020. After a break last winter, construction resumed in May with a scheduled end date of Friday, Oct. 15.

In August, Colorado Department of Transportation project manager Kevin O’Reilly relayed that supply-chain shortages and poor weather would likely push construction past the deadline. That remains the case, but O’Reilly said Wednesday, Oct. 13, that he still expects to have the project wrapped up sometime this month.

“We have the majority of the work done,” O’Reilly said. “… We still have punch-list items that they’re going to be working on for the next week or two, trying to get that wrapped up, but we are trying to do some kind of ribbon-cutting event the week of Oct. 25.”

The widening work was competed last year by contractor SEMA Construction, along with the installation of a roundabout at Water Dance Drive and an underpass connecting the Summit County Commons to the Peninsula Recreation Area.

O’Reilly said all the heavy lifting has already been completed on this year’s efforts: The roundabout at Eighth Avenue is built, the Main Street intersection has been reconstructed, the new traffic signals are in place, the roads have been resurfaced, and new sidewalks and crosswalks have been installed.

Among items still to be done, O’Reilly said crews were in the process of pulling in fiber-optic cable through conduit installed over the past two years. Crews also need to install new wayfinding signage as well as seed slopes and ditches currently covered in topsoil with a mix of indigenous plants and grasses. O’Reilly noted that the flora would help to stabilize the soil once it begins to grow in the spring.

Construction crews also need to stripe the roadways, but as they work to put the finishing touches on the project, weather remains the biggest barrier.

“We can’t really have people out working on the road when it’s icy and slippery because we don’t want somebody getting hit by a car that slides off the road,” O’Reilly said. “So due to safety, we don’t have people out. We picked up a lot of our crews. (Thursday) is supposed to be pretty snowy most of the day, so we probably won’t be working.”

O’Reilly said crews need dry roads and 50-degree temperatures in order to properly stripe the roads, which they’re hopeful they can complete this weekend.

While residents and visitors will soon be able to take advantage of the new and improved roadways for the first time, motorists should keep in mind that despite the widening, the speed limit on the highway will remain 35 mph through Frisco to the Water Dance Drive roundabout.

“People are going to be a little bit excited about it,” O’Neill said. “I can see people driving through Frisco a lot faster than they should be. Remember, it’s still a town, and there are a lot of pedestrians.”

Otherwise, O’Reilly said officials are excited to finally unveil their work.

“We’re happy to be wrapping things up here, and we just ask people to be patient,” O’Reilly said. “We know we’re going to still have some cones and barrels out the next couple weeks while we’re working on this punch-list stuff. So just bear with us. In a couple weeks from now, we’ll be all the way out of here, we’ll have two lanes in each direction all the way through the project, and I think everyone is going to be really happy with how it works and how it drives.”

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