CDOT mulls stoplight

Officials have started designs for signal at Colorado 131, U.S. 40 intersection

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State officials have started designs for a traffic signal at Colorado Highway 131 and U.S. Highway 40.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has yet to decide whether to build such a stoplight, said Charles Meyer, traffic operations engineer for CDOT.

When officials looked at the region, they asked where signals should or could go, now or in the future.

Because this intersection involves an important state highway and a "very significant" U.S. highway, it caught CDOT's attention.

However, traffic volumes and other factors, such as accidents, do not justify a traffic signal at this point, he said.

CDOT is investigating the site and preliminary designs for the signal. The designs would be developed at 30 percent, Meyer said, enough to estimate cost and other needs for the signal.

After those plans are finished, they will be put on the shelf until conditions change enough to justify the signal, Meyer said.

No funds are budgeted for the signal at this time or in the future.

Routt County would not make a decision about whether such a stoplight would be built, said Paul Draper, director of Routt County's Road and Bridge Department.

The county has asked to be involved with early phases of planning because of Routt County Road 24, or Kemry Lane. The road was directly across from Colorado 131 until the state highway was upgraded. Because of that upgrade, 131's intersection with U.S. 40 was moved.

The county has considered moving C.R. 24's intersection with U.S. 40 so it can be across from 131. However, the Routt County Board of Commissioners has said that county funds should not be spent on such a realignment.

If the county road is realigned in the future, the new stoplight should accommodate that road, Draper said.

Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said he has concerns about the stoplight.

"I'm philosophically against any more stoplights on U.S. 40," he said. He would only consider another stoplight if it was necessary for public safety.

He said he can't remember an accident at the Colorado 131 and U.S. 40 intersection, so he thinks it would be premature to put in such a signal.

Monger also has concerns with making tractor-trailers come to a stop along a major highway.

"Every stop on a semi is a safety incident, it's a concern," he said. "And we have more and more trucks driving."

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