A sign along U.S. Highway 40 alerts passing motorists about road work on the highway that will begin this week. The Colorado Department of Transportation will hold a meeting tonight to provide residents and local businesses with answers about the project.

Photo by Matt Stensland

A sign along U.S. Highway 40 alerts passing motorists about road work on the highway that will begin this week. The Colorado Department of Transportation will hold a meeting tonight to provide residents and local businesses with answers about the project.

US 40 project begins this week

Meeting tonight is intended to provide information for residents

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If you go

What: Public information meeting about the U.S. Highway 40 resurfacing project in downtown Steamboat Springs

When: 5 to 7 p.m. today

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

— A major highway resurfacing project begins this week in downtown Steamboat Springs. But before it does, officials with the Colorado Department of Transportation, city of Steamboat Springs and Scott Contracting hope a public meeting tonight will provide information and answers for the area residents and business owners most likely to be impacted by the work.

Today's meeting is from 5 to 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall on 10th Street.

The U.S. Highway 40 project will replace asphalt with concrete on the stretch of Lincoln Avenue from Third to 13th streets, said Nancy Shanks, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman. She said project managers aim to leave open one lane of traffic in each direction for the duration of the project.

Shanks said concrete is cheaper than asphalt and lasts longer, especially on a well-traveled stretch of road like Lincoln Avenue that is exposed to harsh winter weather. Shanks said the street should last about 30 years with joint sealing between the blocks of concrete every 6 to 8 years. And, she added, it should eliminate many of the pothole problems that result from Steamboat's harsh winters.

Resurfacing the roadway isn't all the project will accomplish. Underground utilities and storm sewer pipes to improve drainage will be installed during the work. Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps will be added, and curbs and gutters will be replaced. Fiber optic lines also will be installed to coordinate the street's traffic signals downtown, including a new signal at 11th Street that will be added during the project. And pedestrian improvements will be constructed, including sidewalk bulb-outs at signaled intersections.

About $1.6 million of the more than $5.6 million project will be paid by the city.

Jody Patten, of Patten Communications, the public information manager for the project, said underground utility work would take place this fall with most of the resurfacing taking place in the spring. Crews will work into November, weather permitting, and begin again in March or April. Patten said completion is anticipated for June 2010.

"The idea was to try and work around the busy summer tourist season to have the least impact on local businesses," she said.

Patten said most of the work would take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. but that there would be some nighttime work.

Shanks said the contractor will meet with the Department of Transportation today for a pre-construction conference before the public meeting. After the conference, she said more details about project phases, scheduling and traffic control would be available.

- To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

flusteredal 5 years, 3 months ago

I, for one, am not very excited about the city's plans to add curb bump outs! Have you ever tried to turn right from a side street on to main street? Should be next to impossible with these bump-outs! I thought Steamboat prided itself in keeping the heritage alive! We are a cow town...like it or not. We still pull horse trailers! What about camp trailers...semis....and other similar vehicles! What about the snow plow drivers? Might be difficult for them too! Oh, that's right. We are a tourist town and must cater to them!

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Fred Duckels 5 years, 3 months ago

How will semis ever be able to turn off Lincoln with this impediment?

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blinger 5 years, 3 months ago

concrete ??? That's really going to look GREAT!! Bump outs and concrete are going to look like POO-POO.

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mavis 5 years, 3 months ago

Clearily another brilliant idea by the same people that design roundabouts. I am sure in another few years we will be paying good money to remove them because they are causing problems and falling apart from being hit by those so called crazy plow truck drivers, dumptrucks and any other vehicle pulling anything.

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mmjPatient22 5 years, 3 months ago

Well, since we're gonna be dumping truck loads of money into main street, why not just install a big ol' ice melt system before they pour the concrete. Then we can dump thousands of tax-payer dollars on heating main street through the winter. And while we're at it, we can modify the system to use the ice melt system as a giant refrigeration system in the summer. Surely, the city must be able to conjure some notion that this will help fight global warming in some way.

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David Hill 5 years, 3 months ago

One of the advantages of the bump outs is that is cuts down on the pedestrian crossing time and reduces the amount of time from the signal cycle that needs to be given to the side street. In most cases along Lincoln this is going to be the determining factor rather than the volume of traffic on the side street. There is a national standards for pedestrian walking speed used to calculate the crossing time which is being lowered which would require even longer crossing times if the signals were not already using the new standard. For turns from Lincoln to the side streets, these should be originating from the right travel lane so the bump out should have minimal impact on the available turning radius. Right turns from the side street are likely to present the shortest available turning radius, but with two lanes on Lincoln to receive the turns this should not create a major impediment if the bump outs are designed properly. I will also be curious though to see how the snow plows maneuver around them and how long they hold up.

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Scott Wedel 5 years, 3 months ago

I have seen bump outs in other mountain towns and they are no big deal. They arc out basically mirroring the path a driver should take when making a right turn.

Snow plow drivers presumably learn how to turn.

The bigger issue for SB will be the lost parking because in practice people do not park that close to the bump out and leave not quite enough room for a car to park that would be enough room if there was no bump out. So in practice, downtown is losing many more parking spots that claimed by the City.

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