Photo by John F. Russell
Weather may not be the only thing slowing traffic along Lincoln Avenue starting this fall. The Colorado Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin a major resurfacing project in downtown Steamboat Springs later this week. The U.S. Highway 40 project will replace asphalt with concrete on the stretch of Lincoln Avenue from Third to 13th streets. The project also will include improvements to underground utilities, storm sewers and sidewalks.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Steamboat Springs Businesspeople from Twice as Nice Shoppe, F.M. Light & Sons, Mountain Traditions, Space Station and Rabbit Ears Motel turned out Monday for an open house introducing a concrete reconstruction of Steamboat Springs' busiest thoroughfare.
A multifaceted overhaul of Lincoln Avenue from Third Street to 13th Street begins Wednesday. Concerns raised Monday ranged from the project's phasing to its effects on parking and access points. Those involved with the project didn't downplay its invasive nature.
"This is a massive construction project," project spokeswoman Jody Patten said. "It's not going to be painless along the way, but in the end, everybody is telling me that they're really excited about what this will do for Old Town."
According to an information sheet distributed at Monday's meeting, U.S. Highway 40 through downtown Steamboat is "the most heavily traveled section of U.S. 40 in Northwest Colorado and it is several years overdue for resurfacing."
In addition to concrete resurfacing, the project includes a new stoplight at 11th Street; sidewalks that "bulb out" at intersections to decrease pedestrians' crossing distance; designated bus turnouts; colored and patterned concrete denoting crosswalks; full curb and gutter replacement; and new concrete sidewalks from the street to the existing brick pavers on downtown sidewalks.
This fall's work will mostly entail the associated underground utility work. The concrete repaving will be carried out in the spring. Although some businesspeople in the room weren't thrilled with all aspects of the project, most accepted it as a necessary evil.
"It sounds like it's going to be staggered enough to where impacts will be as little as possible," said Eric Dorris, owner of the Space Station gas station and convenience store downtown.
On-street parking will be eliminated in the construction zone. The speed limit will be reduced to 20 mph through the construction work zone and stoppages of traffic as long as 10 minutes may be necessary at times. Otherwise, one lane of travel will be preserved in each direction on Lincoln Avenue.
"Take Oak Street. That's your best situation," said Project Manager John Murnan of Scott Contracting. "The more you avoid it, the more work we can get done."
Scott Contracting, of Henderson, was awarded the $5.6 million contract and will work for as long as it can this fall and begin again in March or April of next year. Murnan hopes to finish the project by July 1. If it can't be completed before the height of the summer tourism season, work would be stopped until September 2010. Scott Contracting Site Supervisor Cody Patterson all but guaranteed the project would meet the July 1 deadline.
"We finish on time," Patterson said.
For more information about the project, call Patten at 819-7008.
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