Road work finished on US 85

New 4-lane stretch of Santa Fe Drive open

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Santa Fe Drive, from C-470 to Louviers, is now in that entire stretch a four-lane road because of the recent completion of a 1.3-mile section between Highlands Ranch and Louviers.

The project, which cost $7.9 million and took almost 14 months to complete, also involved construction of two new bridges, new medians, curbs and gutters, a new storm drain system, detention ponds, landscaping and signing.

Jody Allen, a project engineer for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), told Colorado Community Media Dec. 9 that there weren’t any accidents during construction or major problems.

Another positive: “One of the bridges provides passage for wildlife,” she said. “The bridge at Highland Gulch is a known route for elk migration. The bridge was built tall enough (17 feet) to allow them to pass under.”

Douglas County contributed $4 million toward the project and the state’s FASTER program contributed $2.4 million to the project, according to a past press release from CDOT.

The speed limit on US 85 in that section, reduced to 40 mph during construction hours, is now back up to 55.

There is still more work to do.

Allen said that U.S. 85 is about 15.2 miles long from Douglas County’s county line south to Meadows Parkway. About 8.5 miles of that is now four-lane road, with about 6.7 miles still to be done.

For more information, go to www.coloradodot.info.

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