The City of Grand Junction is set to begin construction on the expansion of 24 Road, a key component of the “loop” that connects I-70 on the north, 24 Road on the west, Riverside Parkway on the south, and 29 Road on the east.
For the past 25 years, Grand Junction and Mesa County have been working to bring the “loop” project to fruition which, once complete, will have seen an investment of more than $250 million.
“Moving freely around the City is one of the key measures of the community’s quality of life. Growth and subsequent traffic demands are increasing the need for additional capacity on our network of streets,” stated Trent Prall, director of Public Works. “The completion of the loop will provide access to the interstate, shopping, industry, the riverfront, recreational opportunities, and large residential portions of the valley.”
Some portions of the loop have already been completed. The Riverside Parkway was finished in 2008 at an investment of $110 million, and 29 Road was improved from Patterson Road to Riverside Parkway from 2001-2011 at a cost of more than $50 million.
The 24 Road corridor is set to be widened to five lanes in 2023 which will include bike lanes, medians, street lights, and a sidewalk along the west side. Council will consider award of a construction contract at its December 21, 2022 meeting. Construction is slated to begin in January of 2023 and finish in April 2024.
The City’s commitment to providing a strong transportation network is captured in its Comprehensive Plan which includes the creation of an Efficient and Connected Transportation system as a key principle. A key component of that system is the expansion of the transportation network.
Staff works in a number of ways to ensure that the transportation network functions smoothly addressing capacity and congestion management. Collaborative partnerships with Mesa County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) work toward a multi-jurisdictional traffic management system, signal optimization, and regional cooperation on traffic operations including incidents, construction, signals, message signs, and video detection and observation. This collective approach actively manages the transportation systems and infrastructure to improve reliability, efficiency, and safety for all transportation modes–walking, biking, driving, freight, and transit.
Capital improvements are identified and prioritized thorough publicly vetted processes and CDOT’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program as well as the City’s Capital Improvement Plan.
The last remaining piece of the loop is the 29 Road interchange with I-70 at an estimated cost of $70 million. The City and Mesa County will continue to work into 2024 with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and CDOT on the environmental documentation, permitting and authorization for a new interchange.