Emerald Park entrance on track for mid-June arrival in Steamboat Springs | SteamboatToday.com
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Emerald Park entrance on track for mid-June arrival in Steamboat Springs

Crews are hard at work getting the new entrance to Emerald Park and Yampa River Botanic Park ready to open during the week of June 18.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRNGS — The list of tasks to be completed before the new entrance to Emerald Park can open keeps getting shorter for Steamboat Springs city engineer Ben Beall.

“Next week is going to be a big push,” Beall said. “Union Pacific (Railroad) got in and put in the surface for the new crossing, which was one of the major milestones. We needed to get that done in order to get in there and connect the roadway to that crossing surface.”

Crews from Union Pacific Railroad have been busy installing the gates, lights and new crossing that will allow traffic on Emerald Park Lane to cross the railroad tracks safely. The next major undertaking will be re-paving the surface of the Emerald Park parking lot, including a section that was formerly gravel.

“That parking lot gets used pretty frequently throughout the day and especially on the weekends and in the evenings,” Beall said. “We just ask for everybody’s patience as we complete this project. We are going to put up some cones between when we get the asphalt down and when we can get it striped. There are going to be a few days in there where it might be a little bit confusing, and we recognize that.”

Beall said the paving will take place Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15, and on those days, the lot will be at half its normal capacity. The new entrance is expected to open sometime during the week of June 18. 

Once the new entrance is open, the current entrance to Emerald Park on Trafalgar Drive will be closed to cars, and traffic will no longer have to pass through the Pamala Lane neighborhood to access the parking lot.

Beall said parking on Trafalgar Drive is illegal. Cars that park there, without a permit, will be ticketed and towed. 

The Trafalgar Drive crossing, which will remain open to cyclists and pedestrians, will get a concrete surface. Sometime in the fall, Union Pacific will move the crossing gates there closer to the Yampa River Core Trail to improve safety at the intersection.

The completion of the new Emerald Park Lane entrance means local motorists and visitors will have to get used to a new traffic pattern.

“People coming in from out of town using Google maps, or whatever their phone application is, may have some problems getting to Emerald Park or the Botanic Park,” Beall said. “Those applications may not show them they need to take take a left-hand turn at the new Emerald Park Lane.”

Beall said cars leaving the lot headed toward the mountain area will exit using Emerald Park Lane and then make a right turn onto U.S. Highway 40. However, those headed back toward downtown should use the new Ski Town Way — behind Freshies and Hampton Inn & Suites — to access Trafalgar and then head to the light to make a left turn onto U.S. 40. Left turns will not be allowed at U.S. 40 and Emerald Park Lane.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.


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