Lone Tree area residents will have one common item for which to be grateful Thanksgiving Day: The end of construction on Park Meadows Drive.
Until then, local officials urge drivers impacted by the work to take deep breaths and exercise patience.
Construction on the street that extends between Acres Green Drive and Quebec Street has narrowed the four-lane throughway to two bumpy paths. Adding to the angst, drivers turning into businesses along Park Meadows have to wait for an opening in the single through lane, stacking up traffic behind them.
It’s an annoyance with which project leaders are keenly aware.
“Believe us, we have the same frustration,” said John Cotten, Lone Tree’s public works director. “We are pushing them and the contractor’s doing everything he can. But things can only happen so quickly. We would be grateful for a little more patience.”
The job is expected to wrap up just before Thanksgiving, a week later than planned. Cotten said that’s because the paving subcontractor’s portion of the work is delayed a week.
Country Buffet general manager Jim Lamphere hopes Cotten’s prediction is accurate; Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year at his Park Meadows Drive restaurant.
“It’s inconvenienced a lot of our guests, but it’s not really hurting our business per se,” Lamphere said. “They’re doing their best. I appreciate all the jobs it’s creating. It’s just, ‘Hurry up.’”
Work began on the street in July, with crews taking a break in late August to work on another project before returning for the second phase.
The reward for all this angst, Cotten said, will be a much nicer street. Concrete on the street had been failing for years.
“It won’t have potholes and cracked concrete,” he said. “People forget how bad it was before.”
The $1.2 million project is jointly financed by the City of Lone Tree and Park Meadows Metropolitan District.
It also includes the addition of a landscaped median. The metro district will plant trees and flowers there in spring 2014, completing the project’s final phase.