The third westbound lane Eisenhower Boulevard at Madison Avenue. —closed since July 6– reopened yesterday. Early next Wednesday morning, the entire southbound Madison portion of the continuous flow intersection at Eisenhower will debut.
Just before noon Friday, traffic safety control worker Jackie Gion finished resetting about two dozen barrels, hitched up her electronic arrow board and opened the lane. It didn’t take but seconds for traffic to take advantage of the newly opened through-lane. “We wanted to give the public a Labor Day present with an additional westbound lane headed to the mountains, ” stated Tom Knostman, project manager for the Madison Avenue widening project.
Greater changes are ahead Wednesday with the opening of the intersection’s southbound Madison Avenue lanes and its new left-turn configuration. Simultaneously, the northbound portion of the Madison/Eisenhower intersection will close as its major construction begins. With the southbound portion open and the northbound portion closed, southbound motorists will have an opportunity to become familiar with the left-turn procedure without the distraction of northbound through-traffic at the intersection.
“We invite everyone to get comfortable with the new continuous flow layout over the next couple of months before the entire intersection is open, ” Knostman said. “When the intersection is completed, the continuous flow design will allow left turns and through movements from Madison to occur at the same time.
“We know that sounds impossible, ” Knostman said, “but this design and its traffic signal timing enables that simultaneous traffic flow. The result will be increased left-turn capacity from Madison while actually shortening red-light time on Eisenhower. ”
Knostman encourages drivers to view a tutorial video on the City website at www.CityofLoveland.org. “We feel the actual use of this intersection will be very intuitive. The web videos offer a birds-eye overview, a virtual drive-through and explain why this design was selected. ”
The opening of the southbound Madison leg is two weeks ahead of schedule thanks to local contractor Coulson Excavating Company. “Our local contractor has really come through to shorten the impacts of the construction on area businesses, ” Knostman stated.
Sign and concrete work will continue through Tuesday when final critical testing of the traffic signals will be complete. City traffic crews and their signal subcontractor WL Contractors will be burning the midnight oil with the official launch of the new signals and opening of the southbound lanes planned for 4 a. m. Wednesday, ahead of the morning rush. Police officers will be standing by at the site to help direct traffic if needed.