Construction delays push back reopening of 63rd Street through Mission Hills

The reopening of 63rd Street through Mission Hills has been delayed until at least Thanksgiving.
The reopening of 63rd Street through Mission Hills has been delayed until at least Thanksgiving.

The long-awaited reopening of 63rd Street through Mission Hills has been pushed back until at least Thanksving because of delays in replacing the bridge over Brush Creek at Indian Lane.

The important crosstown route between Mission Road and State Line Road has been shut down since early January and had been scheduled to reopen Nov. 1. But in a recent letter to residents, Mayor Richard Boeshaar said repeated redesigns of the bridge have ruined that schedule.

“Our undoing came from the bridge’s engineers,” he wrote residents.

“A well-respected company that is known for its bridge engineering has so far, made six changes since the project started–the most recent one causing the construction crew to wait for re-designed structural pieces that will now cause the project to go beyond its Nov. 1 promised completion date.”

The upper deck of the bridge was renovated in 1991, but the original substructure constructed in the 1950s has begun to deteriorate and needed replacing.

The mayor went on to say the city is working to have the road reopened before the holiday season.

“We are hopeful that the road could be open by Thanksgiving, but until we see the final timeline we won’t know for certain,” said Jennifer Lee, assistant city manager.

In his letter, Boeshaar said the city had believed it had built in several weeks in the original schedule for contingencies.

“Every detail was attended to and, we thought, every contingency considered. ‘The best laid plans…'” the mayor wrote.

The mayor said an incident in September in which a driver for a landscape company bypassed warning signs and drove on fresh asphalt also caused problems.

“At this time of year, asphalt companies are so busy with so many road projects that scheduling the north lane ‘re-do’ had to be pushed out one month,” he said.

The mayor went on to apologize to Mission Hill residents and others.

“We have all been inconvenienced by this project,” Boeshaar wrote. “Residents and neighboring communities all share the desire to have this road open and unencumbered.

“Please know that we have done and will continue to do the best we can to provide a safe, new roadway–one that will last a long time before this kind of signicant repair will have to be done again.”