Steamboat Springs Colorado Mountain College will realign 12th Street as part of a construction project to make the Crawford Avenue spur the secondary access to the Alpine Campus.
The city required the college to build a secondary access as part of the project to construct a 60,000-square-foot administration and classroom building. CMC Facilities Director Peter Waller said the realignment stemmed from the city making sure emergency service vehicles and snow plows could turn onto 12th Street from the Crawford spur.
“The reason it had to be done, in order to make that intersection work, they had to realign the street,” he said.
City Public Works Engineer Ben Beall said the realignment, which wasn’t specifically addressed in the development agreement between Steamboat Springs and the college, came up during design review. He said it’s not uncommon for private projects to make offsite improvements to public infrastructure if the projects facilitated the improvements.
Beall said 12th Street would move about 20 feet to the east on city right-of-way taking the bend out of the road between Oak Street and Crawford Avenue. He said a retaining wall of stacked boulders would be east of the road.
“The biggest impact is straightening the road and regrading the hillside to the east of the roadway,” he said.
Waller said the administration and classroom building, which broke ground in May, is expected to be complete in July. He said CMC staff would have about a month to move in before classes start Aug. 27.
By the time the building is complete, Waller said he expected work to be finished on the project to make the Crawford spur a two-lane road that meets all city specifications. Waller said he hoped the widening of the intersection and the realignment of 12th Street would be done shortly before fall classes begin.
During construction, Waller said access to 12th Street would be restricted to everyone but residents. He said the college would develop a traffic control plan for that time.
Waller said the traffic plan and aspects of the project would be shared during a public meeting scheduled for March 29 at the library on campus.
Robert Ellsworth, who has lived for about 15 years on the northwest corner of 12th Street and the Crawford spur with his wife, Sarah Katherman, said they initially opposed the project because they were worried that the intersection would be unsafe.
“At first, we were just filled with dread,” he said. “Now we’re calming down. The future will tell us how it will impact our lives. Now, we’re in wait-and-see mode. But the level of planning and their communication with us, we have a pretty good feeling.”
To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com