Here’s what construction projects to expect this summer
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs residents can expect six visible and impactful construction projects this summer after the end of ski season. The projects are being completed by both the city and Colorado Department of Transportation.
U.S. Highway 40 chip and seal
The biggest and most noticeable project will be a CDOT-run U.S. Highway 40 East chip and seal, going from Third Street to the west summit of Rabbit Ears Pass. Jon Snyder, Steamboat public works director, said CDOT has “done their best to make this as painless to the traveling public as possible.” The project will start closer to Rabbit Ears and work into city limits by August, Snyder said, adding CDOT will ensure daytime closures will not be allowed to start until 9 a.m. so morning commuters have time to get to their places of employment, and closures on holidays and weekends will be minimized.
Highway 40 Median improvements
Steamboat Parks and Recreation is overseeing a project reconstructing Highway 40 medians between Old Fish Creek Falls Road and Anglers Drive. This is a two-year project beginning in April and ending July 16, two weeks before CDOT is scheduled to begin its work. In 2022, the city will finish completing medians between Hilltop Parkway and Anglers Drive.
Steamboat Boulevard and Mount Werner Road
Utilizing a mix of funding from the Urban Renewal Authority, private developer intersection contributions and the city’s capital projects fund, the Steamboat public works department is replacing a two-way-stop controlled intersection with a roundabout, which will have one way going towards the mountain and two ways coming down the mountain.
“There is growth and demand that’s driving the construction of Steamboat Boulevard and Mount Werner Road,” Snyder said in an interview Friday. “That intersection is getting busier and busier, and we need to do something.”
Snyder said a closure of two of Steamboat’s busiest roads is not ideal, but city staff believes a closure of Mount Werner Road between Pine Grove Road and the Arnold Barn from April 11 to July 1 is necessary and “the most ideal timing,” as that time period is during Steamboat’s offseason. Without a full closure of Mount Werner Road, construction would be much more expensive and carry over into 2022, he added.
Walton Creek Road drainage and sidewalk improvements
The city public works department plans to construct a new culvert conveying Burgess Creek under Walton Creek Road as well as new sidewalks along Walton Creek Road between Highway 40 and Chinook Lane. The project will require shoulder closures along Walton Creek Road as well as flagged, one-lane alternating traffic along Walton Creek Road. This work will begin in late summer and continue into the fall so drivers can still use Walton Creek Road as a detour during the Mount Werner Road closure.
Mount Werner Circle sidewalk and street lighting project
With funding from the Urban Renewal Authority, the city will construct a detached sidewalk and street lighting on Mount Werner Circle between Eagleridge Drive and Apres Ski Way, as well as crosswalk enhancements at Mount Werner Circle and Eagleridge Drive. Drivers can expect to see shoulder closures and a brief closure of one travel lane along Mount Werner Circle in the immediate area. The construction schedule for this project is a bit more flexible than the other projects, Snyder said. Work will take approximately six to eight weeks and may be performed anytime between early August and November.
Sidewalks along U.S. Highway 40 west of downtown
A mix of funding from the state’s Transportation Alternatives Program and the city’s capital projects fund will help build a pair of detached sidewalks along Lincoln Avenue west of downtown. One sidewalk will be on the “river” side of the street between the Steamboat Springs Community Center and Loggers Lane and will include improvements to accesses. The other sidewalk will be on the “hill” side of the road between Conestoga Circle and Indian Trail.
“This sidewalk will provide a safe pedestrian link for the residents of Copper Mountain Estates and Sunlight Subdivision to access the signalized crosswalk at the Stockbridge Transit Center,” Snyder said.
Construction is slated to begin in May and end by October. Staff will have to close shoulders along Lincoln Avenue but do not anticipate road closures.
While Snyder said construction is always unpopular, it’s necessary in a city growing as quickly as Steamboat is.
“Nobody likes road construction ,but we really have no control over that,” he said. “In a general sense, construction is necessary because you have to maintain what you already have.”
To reach Alison Berg, call 970-871-4229 or email aberg@SteamboatPilot.com.
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