Postal Service completes move of Sundance mailboxes to downtown location
May 2, 2013
Steamboat Springs — Ruth Abate said the move was easy.
The Steamboat Springs resident had a mail box for 13 years at the U.S. Postal Service’s substation at Sundance at Fish Creek shopping center until it was closed over the weekend.
Starting this week, she has to get her mail downtown.
"It’s not a big deal at all," Abate said as she retrieved mail from her box in the newly-opened section of the downtown post office at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.
The Postal Service recently finished moving 2,584 mailboxes from the Sundance substation to a portion of the downtown building that previously was occupied by a real estate agency. Part of the building was renovated to accommodate the new boxes.
The Postal Service has estimated the move will save more than $1 million over 10 years in rent, electricity, transportation and personnel costs at the Sundance location.
About 30 percent of the Sundance boxes were empty, Postal Service officials said.
Steamboat Postmaster Tim O’Brien said Thursday the move went smoothly, and he thanked customers for their patience during the transition.
When they were told about the pending closure, some Sundance boxholders said they were concerned the move would increase traffic at the downtown station and make parking there harder to come by.
But new downtown boxholders on Thursday said they didn’t find parking and traffic to be an issue during the lunch hour.
City officials said in March they would monitor the traffic at what is already one of the busiest intersection in Steamboat.
Unrelated to any added traffic at the Post Office, the intersection is slated to undergo an improvement project this month because of Natural Grocers’ move to the area.
Starting May 13, crews will realign the lanes on Third Street on the Natural Grocers side of Lincoln Avenue.
City Engineer Ben Beall said the traffic signals also will be improved so that traffic at each end of the intersection on Third Street can move at the same time.
The signal currently is split phase, meaning traffic at each end always must wait a cycle for traffic at the other end to move.
Beall said Natural Grocers is paying for the lane adjustments, and the cost of the signal improvements is being shared with the city. He said motorists should expect some lane closures during the span of the project, and crews hope to finish the work in early June.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com