Major highway project in west Steamboat Springs slated for 2017 | SteamboatToday.com

Major highway project in west Steamboat Springs slated for 2017

Scott Franz

Traffic backs up on U.S. Highway 40 west of downtown Steamboat Springs during a road construction project in 2014.

— State transportation officials and the city of Steamboat Springs on Wednesday unveiled a plan to make the western side of the city more bikeable, walkable and drivable.

In the spring of 2017, U.S. Highway 40 and its intersection with Elk River Road will see some big changes.

Crews will add bike lanes to the highway and new sidewalks to connect Shield Drive to Riverside Plaza.

The Elk River Road intersection will be reconstructed with a new traffic signal that will no longer include the split phasing, which makes vehicles on both sides of the road wait to make left turns at different times.

And a six-mile stretch of the U.S. 40 where it runs from Shield Drive to the Elk River Bridge on the way to Hayden will be repaved.

The work also makes room for the eventual addition of new lanes on the portion of the highway that is currently two lanes in the western city limits.

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Residents got a peek at the proposed design for the project during an open house Thursday night.

The city and the Colorado Department of Transportation are partnering on the project and decided it would be best to do all of the items at the same time instead of tackling them individually.

City staff engineer Matt Eggen said the city is contributing $500,000 to the intersection work, while CDOT and grant funding will pay for the lion’s share of the remainder of the work.

The work will also include the addition of a bus shelter right at the intersection of Elk River and U.S. 40.

Pedestrians will be able to more easily cross the highway at the intersection on new sidewalks.

Look for updates on this project in Steamboat Today as the construction date approaches next year.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10