U.S. 40 study group to hold open house

Wednesday event will present alternatives for western Steamboat stretch of highway

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Visit www.us40west.com for more information about the west of Steamboat Springs U.S. Highway 40 NEPA study or to join the project mailing list.

If you go

What: U.S. Highway 40 NEPA study open house

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave.

Call: City of Steamboat Springs Project Manager Laura Anderson at 871-7074

The public has a chance Wednesday to weigh in on a plan to widen U.S. Highway 40 to four lanes in western Steamboat Springs.

A group studying alternatives for a five-mile stretch of the highway from 12th Street to the western edge of the city's urban growth boundary, near the Steamboat Golf Club, will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. The western boundary is outside city limits but within areas being considered for annexation.

The study is addressing alternatives to meet transportation needs while also studying the effects of the alternatives on environmental resources. Because U.S. 40 is part of the federal highway system, the study is required under the National Environmental Protection Act.

The NEPA study is sponsored by the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County, the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Jacobs Engineering is conducting the study.

"The purpose of the meeting is to get some public input on recommendations for improvements to U.S. 40," said Craig Gaskill, public involvement manager for Jacobs Engineering. "Based on the public input, the City Council and county commissioners are going to meet later in June and come up with a preferred alternative."

In addition to widening the highway to four lanes, the NEPA study group also is homing in on a preferred alternative that promotes alternative modes of travel, as outlined in the city and county's joint West Steamboat Springs Area Plan. The preferred option incorporates an access management plan developed for the same stretch of the highway and adopted by city and county officials last year.

The study group also is reviewing 10-foot separated sidewalks along U.S. 40, double left-hand turn lanes at the intersection of Elk River Road and U.S. 40, and a pedestrian overpass or underpass at the same intersection. Other potential improvements include double left turn lanes at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue and westward extensions of Steamboat Springs Transit bus lines.

Gaskill said suggested improvements reflect feedback received at the NEPA study group's first open house in January.

The study group already has considered and rejected proposals including expanding U.S. 40 to six lanes, creating reversible high-occupancy toll lanes, a roundabout at U.S. 40 and Elk River Road and grade-separated intersections, also known as flyovers. City Councilwoman Cari Hermacinski said she is pleased with the direction the study is going.

"I'm pleased with it so far because I know there's been a lot of knowledgeable people working on it. : I had real concerns when I heard talk about a six-lane highway," said Hermacinski, who said she thought it would be too costly and time-consuming for the city to obtain the necessary right of way for such a wide expansion. "I was really happy to see that they backed off of the six lanes because of that reason alone."

Comments

beentheredonethat 5 years, 7 months ago

And how exactly will this help with traffic congestion and pollution through the downtown area???

The only acceptable outcome to resolve those issues is to build a by pass.

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Scott Glynn 5 years, 7 months ago

I like the round-about idea at 129 as few people make a left going in either direction and there are alternate ways to get to those spots. As far as downtown is concerned what about making Yampa a one-way eastbound and Oak St. one-way westbound with limited stop signs or traffic lights? I personally take yampa from 12th to 5th often to get out of the way and make a quick right back on Lincoln. You have now added an extra lane in both directions and potentially cut the # of cars on any street in half. All for the price of some sinage and paint.

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GearyBaxter 5 years, 7 months ago

Yampa one way going East, Oak one way going West, and Lincoln a fabulous walking street.

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goremtn 5 years, 7 months ago

Besides being extraordinarily expensive to build it, a bypass would cause some harm on the vitality of Lincoln Ave businesses. Go drive thru the midwest sometime where the state highways often have bypasses around the Main Street parts of towns. The Main Streets just seem a little tired, a little less-visited by the passersby. The need for more sidewalks and safe bike access out there is an absolute must.

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jk 5 years, 7 months ago

I have to agree with Scott here the roundabout idea should not be scrapped it would be the best way to keep traffic flowing through that intersection.

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callguinness 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm not totally against the idea of a roundabout, but if it is considered it needs to be done right. The roundabout on Mt. Werner Circle is an example of what not to do. For a roundabout to be effective at that intersection will require a large "high speed" roundabout. Would need to have at least 3 lanes wide to allow as much traffic through as possible. I'm not sure their is enough space to make it all really fit with a roundabout. With the new Kum & Go there space seems to be at a premium. Seems to me, that with better turn lanes, and 4 lanes wide it would really cut down on the congestion at that intersection. If you have noticed the congestion really starts in front of dream island, when it goes from 2 lanes to one lane. The light at the transit center can be as bad as the light at 129. 4 lanes all the way to steamboat II would really ease the congestion, except for during the overly heavy periods, such as 7-830A and 430-6P.

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 7 months ago

Beenthere, The four lanes are required to handle 700 traffic. Consultants designed this realizing that public transportation can only decrease traffic by 5%. Many were dissapointed, but this is all that Boulder can achieve. The next step will be to finally face the downtown fiasco. Today traffic is OK but let the economy roll and it's all over. Lincoln can't handle the load from the present configuration and the new load will make an alternate route a necessity. This is long overdue as Lincoln is unsafe for fire, ambulance, police, and any interuption. This buck has been passed for decades and we must step up in our time to act responsibly.

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