Have you seen the crews at work at the 5th Street Interchange in Grand Junction? What's going on?

For some time now city employees have been at work beautifying the landscape around the on/off ramps and overpass at the 5th Street Interchange. If you're not familiar with the area, this would be the overpass where you can leave 5th Street and get on the Riverside Parkway.

New vegetation and landscaping.

I drive past this location multiple times a day. Looking back on the summer of 2020, it appeared to me the vegetation took a real beating. I live about a half-mile from the interchange, and the vegetation at my residence suffered a similar fate. Even with a well-designed drip system, I lost two low-growing junipers and two trees during the summer of 2020. Between the heat and lack of precipitation, the plants struggled to survive. It's possible they didn't enjoy the months of smoke, either.

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What's happening now?

Crews were hard at it last fall and winter, removing the old, and in some cases, dead vegetation. Since then, work has been underway reworking the ground and prepping for planting.

I'm a long way from being a green thumb, but when driving by, it appears they've already begun planting. Personally, I don't recall ever planting this early in the year. If the city believes it's okay to proceed, then perhaps I'll do the same.


What will the end result be?

Do you recall back in the '70s and '80s when 5th Street had an old truss bridge? For that matter, the overpass was a single lane in each direction. Many motorists were clueless as to the dimensions of their vehicle and carried over into the oncoming lane.

The surrounding area was mostly junkyards and vacant lots. It's safe to say a tremendous amount of beautification has taken place over the last ten to fifteen years.

Think of how great this will look.

While the project is probably still in the early stages, it appears, when finished, the area will look fantastic. As a  matter of fact, so long as the City of Grand Junction doesn't mind, I believe I'll be stealing some of their landscaping ideas. My home is in a "natural landscape" area, so landscaping options are limited. The city seems to be right on track with its design.

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