Busy pedestrian crossing at Steamboat Ski Area base undergoing re-make | SteamboatToday.com
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Busy pedestrian crossing at Steamboat Ski Area base undergoing re-make

The intersection of Apres Ski Way (occupied by cars in the photo) and Village Drive (in the righthand lower corner) at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area is undergoing a re-design this month and continuing until mid-October. The intersection will get stop signs on all corners, be realigned and get bicycle lanes.
courtesy photo

Apres Ski Way re-design at a glance

• Rebuilding the northern leg of the intersection (the private lane into One Steamboat Place) to better align with the southern leg, Village Drive;

• Installing stop signs on Après Ski Way with advanced warning signage;

• Constructing new 8-foot sidewalks, including new cross walks and ADA ramps;

• Introducing new turn lanes and new bike lanes;

• Dedicating a new bus pullout for the Dulany/Snowflower transit stop (#120 on the Green Line);

• Re-profiling the roadway and adding new storm inlets and drain lines to capture more runoff; and

• Upsizing the Burgess Creek culvert under Après Ski Way to a box culvert that can handle a 100-year flood event.

— Work is underway on a road project intended to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety at the intersection of Apres Ski Way and Village Drive, easily the site of some of the most congested traffic at the base of Steamboat Ski Area during peak seasons.

City Engineer Ben Beall confirmed Oct. 10 the intersection also sees some of the heaviest pedestrian traffic in the city.

“There is tremendous pedestrian volume there,” Beall said. “Peak hours see up to 100 people.”

Apres Ski Way re-design at a glance

• Rebuilding the northern leg of the intersection (the private lane into One Steamboat Place) to better align with the southern leg, Village Drive;

• Installing stop signs on Après Ski Way with advanced warning signage;

• Constructing new 8-foot sidewalks, including new cross walks and ADA ramps;

• Introducing new turn lanes and new bike lanes;

• Dedicating a new bus pullout for the Dulany/Snowflower transit stop (#120 on the Green Line);

• Re-profiling the roadway and adding new storm inlets and drain lines to capture more runoff; and

• Upsizing the Burgess Creek culvert under Après Ski Way to a box culvert that can handle a 100-year flood event.

On a busy winter day at the resort base, pedestrians approaching the intersection from vacation condos on Village Drive with skis on their shoulders are intent on continuing to the Steamboat gondola via a private lane at One Steamboat Place.

Condominium shuttle vans struggle to make the left turn from Village Drive onto Apres Ski Way on their way to the gondola transit center, and Steamboat Springs Transit buses flow through the intersection from two different directions.

The road project is a collaboration between two branches of city government — the Public Works Department and the Steamboat Springs Redevelopment Authority (City Council authorizing the expenditure of incremental tax funds in the Mountain Plan Area). Ralph Walton, SSRA project manager, said the members of the Urban Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee suggested using some SSRA funds to help with the nearly $1 million road project because of its importance to the resort base.

Completion is targeted for mid-October.

A primary goal of the project is to make it safer and more predictable for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.

“None of the four legs (of the intersection) aligns,” Walton said. “There’s not a right angle in the whole intersection, so the crosswalks are,” skewed.

One of the most apparent changes will be the installation of four-way stop signs at the intersection.

There are hills on the approaches to the intersection from both directions on Apres Ski Way, and some property owners in the area have expressed concern that vehicles on snowy roads might not be able to stop safely.

The city and its consulting engineer took that into consideration.

“We looked very closely at that,” Beall said. “The approach grades meet our standards for an intersection approach grade. We wouldn’t put a four-way stop there if we hadn’t studied it.”

One of the biggest impacts of the construction phase is that a short stretch of the eastern leg of Apres Ski Way is scheduled to be closed from Aug. 15 to Oct. 14, Walton said, while a large box culvert to carry Burgess Creek under the roadway is installed. That will mean some motorists, those traveling to and from Ptarmigan House for example, will be detoured.

Affected motorists will be directed to travel east to Medicine Springs Road to Walton Creek Road leading to U.S. Highway 40.

Among the advantages of the project will be a new bus stop that will allow westbound SST buses to pull completely out of traffic at the bus stop near the bottom of the hill on Apres Ski Way.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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