Village at Avon taking shape fast
That’s pretty fast, considering workers on the huge construction site are building more than 600,000 square feet of commercial space, along with the interchange, access roads and parking lots that will become the Village at Avon in the fall of 2003.
“It’s really fast, and we’ve got a great project team out here between the two contractors,” construction director Erik Peterson says. “We’re providing the town of Avon with a real quality product.”
Neighbors of the construction site have complained about noise and blowing dust, though the developer, Traer Creek LLC, says it has taken several precautions to deal those nuisances.
Shane Bohart, Traer Creek’s director of development, says work stops during heavy winds. Workers, meanwhile, are using devices that sound alarms when dust levels become too high.
Other than that, the construction work is progressing rapidly, Bohart says.
“Our first objective was to deliver the pads for Wal-Mart and The Home Depot,” he says.
The two companies will soon begin building their own stores on the pads, which workers have readied very quickly, Peterson says.
“It’s pretty impressive what the workers did,” he says. “In seven short weeks, they moved 600,000 cubic yards of dirt and laid 16,000 linear feet of utilities around The Home Depot and Wal-Mart. They also placed 8,000 tons of gravel for the all-weather access roads around buildings.”
The Home Depot is slated to open a 118,00-square-foot store next summer. It’s expected to employ between 150 and 200 people.
Wal-Mart, meanwhile, is building one of its “Supercenters” that, at 187,000 square feet, will be more than twice the size of its busy store in downtown Avon. The new store, which will include a supermarket, is expected to open in the fall of 2003.
The fate of the building where Wal-Mart currently operates, however, is causing some concern in Avon. Traer Creek has taken over the lease for the building and the company says it will find a business, or businesses, to move in.
Contractors for both The Home Depot and Wal-Mart are scheduled to start work on the stores the first week of August, pouring concrete and digging footings for the buildings’ foundations, Peterson says.
The shells of the two stores should be standing by mid-0ctober or early November, Peterson says.
Workers are also making rapid progress on the I-70 interchange that will bring shoppers to the stores, Peterson says.
Workers are also rebuilding the I-70 bridges to accommodate the interchange, Peterson says. Freeway traffic in the eastbound lanes will be diverted as early as Aug. 5 while workers rebuild the eastbound bridge, Peterson says.
“When you come to the old overpass, you’ll be diverted to the new off-ramp and then go back up and get back on I-70,” Peterson says.
The same will be done in the westbound lanes later this year because the new bridge structures have to be open to traffic by Dec. 1, Peterson says.
A road –called Post Boulevard in honor of Traer Creek’s well-known lawyer, Bill Post –will run from the interchange, past the shops, to a roundabout on U.S. Highway 6. Post Boulevard will dip under the railroad tracks on its way south.
“We’ve made the cut through the railroad for the underpass for Post Boulevard, and we’ve got the lion share of dirt rough-graded for Post Boulevard,” Peterson says.
A new bridge is also being built for Post Boulevard to cross the Eagle River to Highway 6, where a roundabout will be paved. The new bridge will be higher above the river than the old Nottingham Ranch Road bridge.
Workers are installing abutments for the bridge, which Peterson anticipates opening by the beginning of December.
The Highway 6 roundabout, meanwhile, should open around the same date, Peterson says.
Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at email@example.com.