City of Steamboat prepares to add new roundabout at busy intersection at Steamboat Ski Area base | SteamboatToday.com

City of Steamboat prepares to add new roundabout at busy intersection at Steamboat Ski Area base

A map shows the location of the proposed roundabout at Ski Time Square Drive and Mount Werner Circle.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A busy intersection at the base of Steamboat Ski Area, which sometimes sees traffic backups at the end of the ski day, is poised to be rebuilt into the city's latest roundabout.

Officials say the new roundabout at Ski Time Square Drive and Mount Werner Circle will improve the flow of traffic in the area while also making it safer for pedestrians to cross the street.

Shuttle providers and the head of the Steamboat Springs' bus service also supported the change because it will make it easier for their vehicles to depart the Gondola Transit Center with skiers and turn around to head south.

Vehicles that want to leave the transit center and head south currently make a right turn onto Ski Time Square Drive and come back to the intersection to make a left turn that can be difficult to make when traffic is heavy on Mount Werner Circle.

But before the intersection is reconfigured, organizers of the project are taking steps to ensure a cone-zone between two of the city's largest lodging properties won't cause too much pain for businesses this summer.

About 35 people recently attended an open house to share the roundabout plans.

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Urban Renewal Authority project manager Ralph Walton said business owners had some questions about the potential for noise and access limitations during the project.

Walton said the goal will be to have the work done while still allowing a sports car and a mom with a stroller to both make it through the construction zone without any trouble.

"We're going to provide access (to the businesses) no matter what," Walton said. "We can't cut off access to a private property owner. We'll be looking for the best access plan at the lowest cost."

Walton acknowledged the project planners have a lot to think about due to the project's proximity to The Steamboat Grand and the Sheraton Steamboat Resort.

"We're also not going to be the only project in the area," he said.

The Urban Renewal Authority plans to put the project out to bid late next month.

The URA has secured more than $1 million for the project.

Walton said one goal will be to conduct the work so that it does not occur in July when the nearby hotels and businesses see the highest traffic of the summer season.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.