Speed lowered near fatal crash site in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

Speed lowered near fatal crash site in Steamboat

Area along US 40 altered for better sight distances for motorists

Zach Fridell

The July 2009 death of Lorna Farrow on this stretch of U.S. Highway 40 prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit and improve sight distance.

— Highway officials have lowered the speed limit and are busy lowering the embankments on the stretch of U.S. Highway 40 where a Steamboat Springs resident was killed last year.

A Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said the lowered embankments near mile marker 127 will help improve sight distance around the curve and turnout areas near where Lorna Farrow was killed by a dump truck in July.

After that project is complete, more work may come in future years as funding becomes available, Routt County Commissioner Dia­ne Mitsch Bush said.

Farrow was str­uck July 28 while checking her mailbox along U.S. 40. A dump truck traveling west on U.S. 40 swerved to avoid hitting a Jeep that had slowed to turn left into the Riverbend Cabins.

Farrow, 58, co-owned Farrow Repair Service at that location with her husband, Gary, and brother-in-law, Dusty.

The accident prompted a community meeting in Sept­ember where residents and politicians came up with several solutions including reducing the speed limit and trimming trees in the area to improve sight distances.

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Regional CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said crews are lowering the embankment on the south side of the road and will soon finish landscaping work at the site.

As a result of a speed study in the area prompted by the community meeting, the speed limit was also reduced from 55 to 50 for about a half-mile in each direction.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said he has noticed drivers slowing down in the area as a result of the change. Asking State Pat­rol troopers to conduct extra patrols in that area also was a consideration, but Elliott said that request has not come to him.

Mitsch Bush said the intersection likely will be discussed again at a Thursday meeting with CDOT staffers and that adding a turn lane is among the possibilities.

"There is some money now from the transportation commission for all the intersections in our whole five-county region, so the question becomes what can we do with that," she said.

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