Construction began on a $50-million project that will create a new interchange connecting Stapleton’s Central Park Boulevard with Interstate 70 in Denver, the largest American Recovery & Reinvestment Act-funded project in Colorado.

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In 2000, redevelopment at the Stapleton International Airport site occurred on both sides of I-70 in east Denver; however, a designated road to connect the two sides was not included in the plan. The new Central Park Boulevard project makes those connections, while also providing crucial access to I-70 and Interstate 270.

The CPB Interchange, to be constructed by SEMA Construction, will be located between Quebec and Havana streets on I-70 and will feature two major components. The first component will connect the Stapleton Development on both sides of I-70 with a six-lane bridge over the highway. The CPB bridge will allow multi-modal transportation and will include 12-ft sidewalks to accommodate all types of traffic: vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles.

The second component will connect CPB to Interstates 70 and 270. Because of the nature of the connections, the interchange will consist of a network of braided ramps, according to officials at SEMA. This type of ramp is necessary along the north and south sides of I-70 to provide access to and from the two interstates and will be constructed on land already set aside for the ramps.

A project is being managed through a public-private partnership with the combined efforts of the Federal Highway Administration, CDOT, the City and County of Denver, SEMA Construction and the community. The new interchange will open to traffic in November 2011.

Underground geothermal work completed in September on the new Denver-area IKEA store under construction on 13.5 acres along the western side of Interstate 25, north of Park Meadows.

When complete the 415,000-sq-ft retail store will be Colorado’s largest single building with geothermal heating and cooling, and the Swedish home-furnishings retailer’s first store built in the United States to incorporate this technology, said Douglas Wolfe, IKEA project construction manager. The store is expected to open in fall 2011.

Centennial-based Saunders Construction is serving as construction manager for the project. Completion of the below-ground work enables the project team to begin construction on the store’s foundation and structure. Remaining geothermal work will be incorporated into the building construction.

Heating and cooling the building with geothermal required the project team to drill 130 holes—each 5.5 in. wide and 500 ft deep—into the earth for pipes holding heat-transferring liquid circulating through underground loops either to warm up or cool down the temperature inside the store.

The depth of the holes was determined based on soil conditions, thermal conductivity tests and the large amount of liquid needed for the heating and cooling loads of the 415,000-sq-ft store. The holes are directly below the parking garage under the store.

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