New traffic signal in Steamboat expected to be operational today |

New traffic signal in Steamboat expected to be operational today

Public Works director says light at 11th will make crossing easier for pedestrians

Zach Fridell

Josh Armenta, of Arvada-based W.L. Contractors, works on wiring Tuesday for a new traffic signal at 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue.

— A new traffic signal at 11th Street and Lincoln Avenue, long a request from residents and city officials, is expected to be operational today.

The light, part of the im­­provements being made during the U.S. Highway 40 downtown construction project, will allow for safe pedestrian crossing where it sorely was needed, Steamboat Springs Public Works Director Philo Shelton said.

"You have basically a four-block section that's very difficult for a pedestrian to cross at" without the light, Shelton said, referring to the stretch of Lincoln Avenue from Ninth to 13th streets.

Shelton said he's been working to get a new light at that intersection since he started the job.

"I'm very proud of that signal going in," he said. "It took a while."

The signal will be activated by underground loop sensors on all four corners and will have crosswalk buttons. It also has a left-turn signal for eastbound U.S. 40 traffic.

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Shelton said that with the new signal and the addition of pedestrian "bump-outs" or extended sidewalks at each corner downtown, drivers should use even-numbered streets for right turns off Lincoln Avenue and odd-numbered streets for left turns and for turning back onto Lincoln Avenue.

The light was one of the finishing touches on the construction project before workers paused the project for July and August.

Scott Contracting project information manager Jody Pat­ten said workers are doing the final cleaning and will be finished in time for today's work-stop deadline. The work is scheduled to resume Sept. 7.

At the end of the construction project, all of the lights along Lincoln Avenue will be rescheduled and connected by fiber-optic cable.

Shelton said one of the long-term plans is to create a new traffic timing plan that will keep the lights going all night, instead of changing to blinking lights after midnight.

"Right now, it's an interim (timing) plan entered," he said. "When everything's constructed, the new timing plan will be implemented."

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