City center construction begins

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Visitors to the Lakewood Civic Center will have fewer places to park during the first phase of construction to make the area easier to navigate and access.

Phase one of construction started Aug. 12, with work focusing on the drive aisles across from the Cultural Center and adjacent to the Civic Center.

“We’re trying to make the parking area there more user-friendly for school buses, so kids can be dropped off right at the Cultural Center,” said project manager Jerry Goldman.

The project should cost about $1,199,199, Goldman said.

He said he hopes the project will be completed in November, but there is a chance it could stretch into spring 2014, depending on how work progresses.

According to information provided by the city, several areas will be closed during this process: The north end of the upper parking lot and adjacent sidewalks next to the Cultural Center are closed; the north entrance to underground parking is closed, but the south entrance remains open; the outside elevator at the pedestrian bridge is closed. An alternative elevator is available inside the Cultural Center, or when the center is closed, sidewalks can be used along the south end of the upper lot for access between the upper lot, Allison Parkway, underground parking and bus stops.

Access to the RTD bus station at Lakewood Civic Center will not be affected.

During the day, parking is available in the upper parking lot above South Allison Parkway, in the upper parking lot from the south only (roundabout near Belmar Library) and on the upper deck of the Public Safety Center to the west of Allison.

During the evening and weekends, residents should use South Allison Parkway from either direction to access the underground garage. From there, look for the turquoise wall to find the elevator to the Lakewood Cultural Center Lobby. Parking is also available in the upper parking lot above South Allison Parkway. Enter the upper parking lot from the south only (roundabout near Belmar Library).

Work is progressing well, Goldman said.

The next phase will be a redesign and restructure of the plaza area between the two North City Hall buildings.

“This is a really rough environment, especially in the winter where you get the snow and ice, and then the salt, all of which damages the concrete,” Goldman said. “We’re looking into putting a snowmelt system under the plaza to lessen the frequency of having to use salt.”

The construction is important not only because it will make the area safer, but also to make it more inviting.

“It’s very important to the community resources department and city that we can serve both the elderly and young people, who often use buses,” said Allison Scheck, marketing and community relations manager. “A key part of that is getting these folks from their transportation to the front door.”

For questions or more information, please contact the Department of Community Resources at 303-987-7800 or go to www.lakewood.org/civiccenterrefresh.