Traffic disruption looms

City looks ahead to Lincoln Avenue work for summer 2007

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When the Colorado Department of Transportation tears up U.S. Highway 40 in summer 2007, community leaders intend to be prepared.

Interim city manager Wendy DuBord told Main Street Steamboat Springs members at their annual meeting Thursday that city staff is consulting closely with the department. The intent is to minimize the disruption created by the "mill and fill" project, which will stretch from U.S. 40 and Routt County Road 129 on the city's west side to Rabbit Ears Pass east of town.

The work is more extensive than simple repaving because it entails grinding off the existing asphalt before the new layer is applied.

One possibility is that the portion of the highway that comprises Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat will be completed before work on either side of town begins.

The work is tentatively scheduled to take place in June, July and August.

Main Street design committee chairwoman Nancy Kramer said her group was eager to work with city staff to explore whether some of the pedestrian circulation projects being contemplated for downtown could be undertaken at the same time as the "mill and fill" work.

Pedestrian and vehicle circulation projects such as walking malls, curb extensions and traffic roundabouts have been contemplated.

"There may be an opportunity to deal with infrastructure projects," Kramer said. "The question is, 'How much can we accomplish?'"

Kramer said an effort was under way to persuade the dep--artment to move the project start to May.

Because there are lodging properties in downtown Steamboat, the work will be done during the day.

-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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