OGDEN — For most residents living along the heavily torn up section of 20th Street currently under construction, the work there could presumably be described as an unpleasant but necessary inconvenience.
But for 2-year-old Lucus Colledge, it might as well be Christmas.
Recently, a group of construction workers from Geneva Rock (Ogden City’s contractor for the massive road project) pooled their money together and bought the child a variety of construction toys — a tractor, a loader, blocks, hard hat, vest and more.
Casey Harris, a superintendent with Geneva, said when working near Lucas’ house, the construction crew quickly began to notice the boy was enamored with what they were doing.
“The crews ... have noticed this little guy watching them day in and day out as they work,” Harris said. “He’s always pointing at the machines as they drive by or work in front of his house.”
Jason Jorgensen, the project’s foreman, said despite the involved nature of the work being done on 20th Street, it was impossible not to take notice of the youngster.
“He was just out there every day, watching,” Jorgensen said. “It didn’t take long to realize that he was really interested in what we were doing, so the guys thought they’d do something for him. It’s just refreshing to see that with everything going on right now with coronavirus and things.”
Lucas’ aunt, Tricia Englert, lives with the boy and said the gesture made a big impression on not only Colledge, but his whole family as well.
“For some reason, he’s just obsessed with the construction stuff these guys do,” Englert said. “He always waves at them and when they were working up close by the house, he was just so excited. So when they brought the toys over, he was just totally amazed.”
The $7 million overhaul of 20th Street began in April. Currently, much of the roadway east of Washington Boulevard has been removed, leaving only a dirt path in its place.
Ogden City Engineer Justin Anderson said the project will improve intersections and sidewalks on the street between Washington and Quincy Avenue, as well as change the street’s grade so it matches the elevation of its cross streets.
Anderson said the east-west collector road was in need of major repair. The reconstruction project will allow for increased use in the future, he said, and will immediately improve traffic flow. The project will also include new traffic signals at the Monroe Boulevard intersection, a pedestrian crossing signal at the Madison Avenue intersection and a traffic signal at the southeast corner of the Washington Boulevard intersection.
Anderson also said the project is the first step in a plan to connect Madison Avenue at 20th Street to the Ogden River near Park Lane. The city’s bicycle master plan called for a buffered bike lane on Madison Avenue, which would traverse through the city cemetery and connect to the Ogden River Parkway.
About 4,500 feet of new storm drain line will be installed, with about 5,500 feet of culinary water line and 2,100 feet of sanitary sewer replaced and constructed.
Anderson said the project should be finished sometime in October.