Steamboat Springs Motorists might be curious about what is happening on U.S. Highway 40 in front of the Stockbridge Multi-Modal Transit Center. Pedestrian crosswalk lanes have been painted and light posts have been put up.
The writing, so to speak, is already on the street: A new traffic light is going in on Steamboat's west side.
Although the transit center is not fielding heavy traffic yet, Steamboat Springs Public Works Director Jim Weber said the signals were stipulated as a requirement from the state of Colorado for its help in funding the project.
The Stockbridge signal will not operate on a timer as most traffic lights do, Weber said, but will have precise motion detectors to dictate light changes.
"It won't change if one car pulls up to take a right turn (east out of the parking lot), but if several are lined up to make a left turn into or out of the place, the signal will change," Weber said. "That way, the light will not make traffic back up when there is no need for it to."
When complete, the intersection will also have manual electronic pedestrian signals, allowing pedestrians to request a red light so they can cross the street on the newly painted crosswalks.
The work is part of the third phase of a five-year project.
Funding for the project came with a 20 percent, 80 percent split from city and outside sources respectively. For Phase III, the city of Steamboat Springs spent $40,000, most of which went to planning for the project. Almost $600,000 came from outside funding from private grants and the state of Colorado.