Groundbreaking is set to begin in early December on a four-lane truck bypass through the city of Delta. Officials anticipate the estimated $30 million project will benefit Delta in the long and short term.
Delta city manager Justin Clifton said, "Big trucks drive by and create a lot of noise and create a lot of congestion. Sometimes they can be two or three deep at a red light."
Highway 50 runs directly through the small downtown.
"You watch the trucks drive by; they are so close to the side of the road I think some people are frankly reluctant to park down here," said Clifton.
Residents have recognized the problem since the 1940s, and for the past 20 to 30 years, city planners have been working on a way to fix it.
Clifton said, "Free up some of that space, create a more inviting, welcoming downtown where the small businesses can thrive; let the big trucks by-pass."
The new truck route, named Confluence Drive, will be built around the Central Business District and will include two bridges. The 30-foot-tall bridges will allow traffic to drive over the railroad track.
Clifton said the project will bring jobs to the area, "You know, it was important for the city that we encourage local contractors, sub-contractors, and we've seen a lot of that."
Planners envision that the new truck route will help revitalize downtown Delta.
Jim Hatheway, the public works director, said, "The businesses downtown will be able to thrive and hopefully be able to provide more outdoor opportunity."
"A nice Main Street where people can park, stop, shop, eat, you name it," Clifton said.
"Certainly for our parade perspective, this will make traffic control a lot better and clearer," Hatheway also said.
They even project the new route will reduce their carbon footprint due to less highway delays.
Hatheway said, "It's been a long time coming, and we're just excited to get dirt moving and asphalt on the ground."
Residents and planners are eager for the new route and say it's a step in the right direction.
A job fair will take place on Dec. 7 from 7-11 a.m. at Bill Heddles Recreation Center:
530 Gunnison River Drive
Delta, CO 81416
For more information on the overall project and its progress, you can head to www.confluencedrive.com
Hamon Contractors will be working on the project.
Construction is set to last around 12 to 15 months.