Crews rush to beat weather, open new roundabout near base area
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As long as weather cooperates, the days of flaggers and detours could soon come to an end as work on the new roundabout at the intersection of Mount Werner Circle and Ski Time Square Drive nears completion, just in time for the start of the ski season.
“The real payoff is going to be in the winter, later in the day especially, with all the circulation of vans both in Gondola Square and Ski Time Square,” said David Baldinger, Jr., a base area businessman and co-chair of the Urban Redevelopment Authority Advisory Committee, which recommended the project. “Traffic can keep flowing every direction … It looks nice and looks like it will function really well.”
Ralph Walton, manager of the project that is estimated to have cost just over $1 million, said there are still a few more items that need to be completed before the intersection is open to traffic. But without any unexpected delays, he said that should happen before Nov. 6.
Crews are hoping to complete paving and striping this week as they race against the weather. They also will need to install some traffic signs.
The contract calls for the work to be substantially complete but not 100 percent, so Walton said motorists can expect the intersection to be functioning while crews continue working to complete final project details.
Work on the intersection began July 9, and the project, according to Walton, is on time and on budget.
“In this project we are going to hit our budget almost to the penny, we think,” Walton said. “That required a little bit of juggling and tough decisions on some items, but the quality of the work has not been impacted by any of that.
“The budget process, the management of the project and the cost throughout is a team effort that deserves some praise — from the engineer to the contractor to the project team,” Walton added.
Duckels Construction served as the project’s general contractor.
“This work will improve the safety of the intersection and the operational performance of it,” Walton said.
Walton said the roundabout addresses traffic problems in that area, including the safety of pedestrians crossing between the ski area and The Steamboat Grand. He believes the roundabout will slow traffic headed from the north to the south and improve traffic flow for buses and shuttles leaving the Gondola Transit Center.
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