Eight-Mile E-470 Widening Reaches Major Milestone

AURORA, CO – Originally constructed in the mid-1990s, the E-470 Tollway has seen a steady increase in ridership. To address this, the E-470 Public Highway Authority embarked on an eight-mile widening project to add an additional lane in each direction from Quincy Avenue to I-70. Construction began in June 2019, and this February, E-470 was officially opened to traffic as final barriers were removed and lane speed was increased back to 75 mph.

Girder set on Smith Road
Construction on E-470 began in June 2019 and was completed in February 2021.
Deck pour at dawn
Nighttime work during construction was common along E-470 in order to minimize impacts to traffic.

Benesch provided construction management and inspection services on this $99 million project. In addition to roadway widening, the project required the widening of 14 bridges and a reconfiguration of the Quincy Avenue on- and off-ramps from a standard diamond configuration to a hook configuration to function more efficiently with the new Partial Continuous Flow Intersection at nearby Quincy Avenue & Gun Club Road.

“The reconfiguration of the ramps at Quincy Avenue was a critical element of the project,” Benesch Construction Manager, James Newberry said. “Our team had to precisely schedule and coordinate with a neighboring project, as the progress of each project affected the other staying on schedule and meeting certain milestones at the same time.”

A strict adherence to the schedule was integral to project success, and the Benesch Team had to overcome a few challenges in order to keep the project on track.

“Due to COVID-19, our suppliers and subcontractors experienced disruptions,” Newberry says. “Keeping the project on schedule was critical, so to overcome these disruptions, we rephased the project and our team partnered with the Contractor and E-470 to find ways to ensure the project could continue despite the disruptions.”

The widening of E-470 was completed using the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) delivery method, and the Benesch Team delivered the project completely electronically through the Appia CM Software platform. E-470 is Benesch’s largest active construction management project in the state of Colorado.

“The project has been a massive effort for all involved,” says Newberry. “Benesch was lucky to have several subconsultants as part of our CM team: AECOM, Ulteig Engineers, and Kumar & Associates. The SEMA-Kramer Joint Venture served as contractor and the design engineer was Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig. Everyone on the project management team did a great job of working together to overcome our schedule challenges and deliver a safe and successful project.” 

For more details and a closer look at this important infrastructure improvement, watch the video below from the E-470 Public Highway Authority: