Highway 9 construction behind schedule, should open four lanes within two weeks | SummitDaily.com

Highway 9 construction behind schedule, should open four lanes within two weeks

Alli Langley
alangley@summitdaily.com

Crews working on Highway 9 construction between Breckenridge and Frisco are on track to finish this season, albeit several weeks past the Oct. 1 completion date given by officials in April.

Project engineer Jason Laabs blamed the holdup on weather, heavy traffic and contractor delays.

By the end of next week, he said, all four of the highway's lanes should be open, which would please business owners south of Frisco who hope the road clears before the influx of skiers arrives with the opening of Breckenridge Ski Resort Friday, Nov. 7.

After the four lanes are open, Laabs said, drivers can expect one-lane closures during the day for minor construction activities on the medians and interior lanes.

Workers have finished most of this year's work on the project, which included widening between Tiger Road and Fairview Boulevard, the Ravette Drive bridge, realignment of the Gold Hill Trailhead and the Fairview roundabout.

People who regularly drive that stretch of highway will be happy to know CDOT has no construction planned for Highway 9 between Breckenridge and Frisco in 2015.

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In 2016, CDOT plans to start building the realignment north of Summit High School through the Iron Springs area — work that shouldn't affect drivers.

Upgrades to the Highway 9 corridor have been ongoing since 1999, and the Iron Springs proposal represents the second-to-last part of that plan.

If approved by the Federal Highway Administration, construction would begin in spring 2016 and last two construction seasons, with a firm project deadline of Dec. 31, 2017. Should the plan not be approved, an alternative plan would widen Highway 9 to four lanes along its current alignment around what's known as Leslie's Curve, near Lake Dillon.

CDOT would then begin the process of preparing for the final leg of the project to improve Highway 9 between St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and Main Street in Frisco.

In Frisco, the construction as part of the Step Up Main Street renovation project is almost complete, said town spokeswoman Vanessa Agee.

She said this week workers are finishing installing pavers at the intersection of Main and Seventh Avenue and will extend the sidewalk on Madison Avenue north of Main so people don't have to step into the road to access the recpath.

After this week, workers will be completing "punchlist" items, or small details that drivers likely won't notice.

The second phase of the Main Street project — from Fourth Avenue to Seventh Avenue — will begin in April.