Centennial has completed reconstruction and intersection improvements to one of the most congested areas of the city.
The $1 million project, which began Sept. 17, was split into two phases and included the installation of new concrete pavement on Peoria Street between Arapahoe Road and construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Peoria and Peakview Avenue.
At first, some irritated commuters weren't warming up to the idea of the roundabout, but now seem to see wisdom in the city's decision.
Mark Allen, who used to commute from Aurora to Centennial, admits he's not as opposed to the idea as he was when the project was first announced.
“Yeah, I hated the one up north at Caley, and still do, but this one isn't so bad,” said Allen of the roundabout. “I still think I would have rather seen a traffic light, but things do seem to move, and I'll take that over the alternative.”
Even local merchants in the shopping centers seem to have a different outlook.
“At first we were in a bit of a lurch, because we don't get notified of the construction, so that kinda put a damper on business,” said Terri Lack, who owns a restaurant and wine bar in the Shops at Centennial, located on the northwest corner of Arapahoe and Peoria. “The road closures really made it hard for folks to get in here, but now, the roundabout is great. It dumps people off right into our parking lot. I like it.”
The city defended its choice of the circular intersection, saying it was an appropriate fit based on several reasons, including traffic volume and traffic flow, based on its proximity to the stoplight at Peoria and Arapahoe Road.
City spokeswoman Allison Wittern said in an earlier interview that the roundabouts allow for continuous traffic movement, thus reducing the possibility for congestion.
Cost was also a consideration based on the fact the roundabout was cheaper, more efficient and would “provide long-term savings because we won't have a traffic signal to power.”
Although the project is complete, there is still some finessing. Drivers in the area will continue to see intermittent cone zones as construction wraps up.