Every day, as motorists drive along the Eby Creek Road corridor, they notice something new.
Either a new patch of concrete has been laid or a new stretch of roadway has been leveled or a new swath of masonry has been installed.
It’s actually getting to the point where people can envision a conclusion to the two-year marathon that ripped up the busiest street in down.
“It’s all going really fast right now,” said Tom Gosiorowski, Eagle town engineer. “That will continue through next week. The weather as been great for us recently.”
After months and months when underground utility work meant a torn up roadway and not-visible construction progress, Gosiorowski said motorists have been a bit stunned by how quickly the current phase of work is going. Once the roadway is prepped, it only takes hours to lay down the concrete surface and then it only takes three days for the concrete to cure. As a result, a roadway laid on Friday is often open for traffic the next Monday.
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The last remaining large area of driving lane concrete that still needs to be poured is west of the U.S. Highway 6 roundabout. Gosiorowski said the current construction schedule anticipates having that area open for traffic the week of Nov. 10. A crew from Gallegos Masonry has been busy installing stone work along the retaining walls this week.
In addition to the new driving lanes, curb and gutter and roundabout apron concrete has been laid across wide swaths of the project.
“The barrels marking the roundabouts south of I-70 will be going away pretty soon,” said Gosiorowski. In the center of those roundabouts, irrigation lines are being installed now. “We certainly expect all of the trees and shrubs will be going in yet this year,” he said. But because sod takes a good three weeks of watering as it is established, some of that work will likely wait until spring.
With the work coming to conclusion south of I-70 the construction focus will now shift to the Market Street roundabout.
“Market Street is a very easy roundabout to build,” said Gosiorowski. The traffic configuration is scheduled to shift to roundabout operation next week.
In the Market Street area, the new Eagle pedestrian bridge has opened with fanfare, but the pedestrian path connecting the areas south of I-70 to the areas north of I-70 is still under construction. In particular, the path on the west side of Eby Creek Road between Chambers Avenue and US6 won’t be poured until the week of Nov. 10.
When will it be done?
Gosiorowski said the project hit one of its biggest delays earlier this month when crews started work on the expansion joints for the Eagle River bridge. When they started the work, crews found that part of the bridge abutment was in poor condition and the issue had to be addressed.
“We thought that was a two-day project but it turned into a two-week project,” said Gosiorowski. It was also why motorists had to drive over large steel plates that were jarring and loud. “Everyone was happy to get rid of the plates,” said Gosiorowski. He noted people are also obviously happy to see the gratifying changes on the site.
“The construction of all of the road and roundabouts will be complete by Nov. 17. Some work like signs and landscape will go beyond that date.” Gosiorowski said. “The bottom line of the project is the road work will be done by Thanksgiving,”