By Chris Casey | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. - It's a short stretch, but East 17th Place between Wheeling Street and Fitzsimons Parkway is a key access road on the east side of the Anschutz Medical Campus. That's why its impending three-year closure, from July 20, 2012 to July 2015, will disrupt traffic as construction continues on the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
It will be especially significant in March 2013 when the Interstate 225/Colfax-17th Place interchange is completed. The interchange will offer full access of I-225 via East 17th Place.
"The whole 17th Place project is more disruptive than most because it impacts all the traffic on the east side," said Ken Neeper, manager, infrastructure development, Facilities Management. Neeper noted that when the closure occurs, eastbound 17th Place traffic will need to flow south on Wheeling Street to Colfax Avenue or travel north to meet up with Fitzsimons Parkway, where vehicles can turn north or south.
Complicating matters is the fact that Wheeling Street will be closed from 17th Place to Colfax from mid-March 2013 to mid-July 2013. This closure, also due to VA Medical Center work, will mostly impact Children's Hospital Colorado employees, who park between 17th and 16th places off Wheeling and Victor streets.
"That's going to have a big impact on their traffic flow," Neeper said of the Wheeling Street closure. "It reduces the number of exits they have from parking areas and puts all the traffic on Victor."
Also causing disruption in the southeast corner of campus will be the Colfax Avenue bridge replacements, both directions, over Toll Gate Creek. That work is scheduled to take place from June 2013 to December 2015. Additionally, southbound I-225 will undergo a widening project, Mississippi Avenue to Parker Road, from early 2012 to mid-2014.
Neeper suggested that employees find an alternate route southbound, if possible, during that time frame, because they can expect to encounter roadwork shortly after entering southbound 225.
Other road impacts of the construction:
- Montview Boulevard from Wheeling Street to Fitzsimons Parkway remains closed. Target date for completion is July 25.
- Wheeling Street is scheduled to be closed from 17th Place to 19th Place from July 25 to Nov. 13, 2012. while utilities work takes place along Wheeling.
- The intersection of Wheeling Street and East 17th Place is scheduled for closure from mid-November 2012 to mid-March 2013.
The VA Medical Center is scheduled to open in spring 2015.
Facilities Management representatives, including Neeper and Michael Vigil, project manager, meet weekly with all other affected entities, including Children's Hospital, Veterans Affairs, University Physicians, Inc., University of Colorado Hospital, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority and University Police, to update the ongoing traffic impacts on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
For a map of the most recent roadway impacts at CU Anschutz click here (and look at the lower far right corner to view projects around the VA facility), or go to the Facilities Management website and click on "Active Facilities Projects" under the "Facilities Projects" tab, then select the "Roadway Impacts" quick link.
The maps are updated weekly.
(Photo: A truck travels southbound on Wheeling Street just east of the Children's Hospital Colorado parking lot with the construction of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the background.)