Traffic could be on the new Denmark Road bridge as early as next week.
Union City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann said the project is winding down and nearing the finish line. If all goes well, the bridge could open to traffic next week and the roundabout could be finished shortly thereafter.
After several weather-related delays, the project is moving forward, Zimmermann said. Crews poured two of the splitter islands at the roundabout at St. Andrews Drive and Denmark Road and are now moving onto the road surface.
Zimmermann said the road surface is a simpler project that could hopefully be finished by the end of the week.
Once the concrete is poured, it will need a week to cure, he said. At that point, the bridge will be opened to traffic.
“If we get all the pouring done by Friday (June 8), the bridge can be opened by next Friday (June 15),” Zimmermann said.
Safety improvements to the bridge were recently finished. Crews installed guardrails and pedestrian fencing so it should be ready for traffic.
The bridge would open with the roundabout still not finished. That is by design.
“We are going to be building three-fourths of the roundabout in the first phase of the roundabout construction,” he said. “I’m hoping that once we get that concrete poured, and give it a nice cure time, that I can open up the bridge and allow people from the east side to the west side to gain access to Highway 50 to make it not so inconvenient for them.”
Zimmermann said the roundabout should be done in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, Zimmermann wanted to remind people to not move barricades at the site. He said a number of obstacles have been moved and people have been driving where they’re not supposed to.
The improvement project includes a bridge replacement, new roundabout, lane widening, resurfacing and sidewalk construction from St. Andrews Drive to Grandview Farms Drive. KJU, Inc., Washington, was awarded the contract for the work last August.
The roundabout is designed to address a speeding issue. The roundabout is intended to “calm” traffic at that location, according to Zimmermann.
Work on the bridge began in December when the city closed down Denmark Road. The closure has forced those who live in St. Andrews subdivision or west of the bridge to access Highway 50 through St. Andrews Drive. Those east of the bridge use East Denmark Road to get to Highway 50.
In addition to the new bridge, two hills were excavated to improve sight distance and improve the profile of the road.
Drivers can already drive on the newly paved portion, but access still is cut off at the bridge.
The project cost is $1.6 million. The improvements are part of the 2014-17 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) approved by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments in 2015.
This is the second phase of the Denmark Road project. The first phase was completed in 2014 and included new lanes and shoulders from Prairie Dell Road to just east of St. Andrews Drive. Sidewalks also were installed along that stretch of the road.