Over the course of time, I have found that there are several advantages to living in Reunion. There are of course, all the amenities within the community itself such as the walking trails, parks, lakes, pool and fitness center. Then we have some fabulous restaurants in the area such as DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant and Yum Asian and Sushi. We can’t forget the recent opening of the new and fabulous King Sooper’s Marketplace – it is a store within a store with wonderful delis, to-go foods, linens, furniture, a jewelry store and even groceries!
But, if you travel at all or work there, one of the best advantages to living in Reunion is its proximity to Denver International Airport. It’s only sixteen minutes from my garage to the west side gates. You can’t get much closer than this. As it turns out, most of our friends and family know this and use us frequently for a “quick ride” to the airport, which we don’t mind doing at all. But it was on today’s trip to DIA, that I was acquainted with all the new construction and detours from the airport’s upcoming expansion.
While there has been some controversy, especially about the attached Hotel harming the overall “mountain tents” view, this exciting project will enhance Denver International Airport.
Apparently, DIA’s expansion will include three new elements:
1. It will house a Public Transit Center, the end-of-line station for RTD’s East Line which is a 23 mile connection between DIA and Union Station, opening in 2016.
2. It will have a new Westin Hotel and Conference center with over 500 rooms.
3. It will also house a new 60,000 square foot Public Plaza.
In an effort to construct all these elements and to keep the airport performing at acceptable levels, traffic to the West side gates had to be rerouted entirely. Travelers should be prepared for detours and expect some delays.
Experiencing this for the first time today, made me appreciate all the efforts the original traffic engineers put into the basic design years ago. The area was a sea of orange signs, cones and vests. Should you try to battle this zone in the near future, plan on a few extra minutes of drive time. The best course of action would be to take things slow, read ALL the directional signs and have lots of patience. It is really not that difficult once you experience the new route, but the first time you should be cautionary. I still respect those traffic engineers as they have crafted an entirely new way to access the gates with the limited space available.
Nonetheless, garage to gate – 23 minutes today! Not too bad considering the hazards.