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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-October 7, 2019-The 13th Street Project is entering the final weeks of the project and setting up for a major asphalt pour later this week, weather permitting. With the completion of improvements along this main collector avenue, the impact of this project on traffic on US40 near the Elk River Road intersection is expected to return to more traditional levels.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on traffic flows in the morning from the west side of town and appreciate everyone’s continued patience,” commented City Engineer Ben Beall. “While we do everything possible to minimize inconvenience, outside situations, like accidents or other projects, can influence traffic along this stretch of highway as seen over the past month.”
As an example, two separate accidents during the morning travel period resulted in significantly longer commutes on October 1. The more serious incident involved a medical issue for a driver near the library while the other accident saw a rear-end collision on this highly traveled thoroughfare.
“Safety remains a top priority and requires the city to balance traffic flow with a safe work zone,” continued Beall. “We schedule many of these project to take place during the year when we see the least traffic and the timing of the project on 13th Street was no different.”
Motorists should expect to see smoother vehicle flow coming this month as 13th Street wraps up and the temporary traffic diversions end. In an effort to ensure the morning commute is easier over the remaining weeks, the contractor will keep 13th Street open to two-way traffic until 8:30am each morning before implementing daily closures and detours. After 8:30am, one-way closures, as have been in place over the last month, will be put in place to complete the remaining work. Originally scheduled for this week, the forecasted winter storm will likely push the scheduled asphalt pour back a week from the original timeline. The project remains on track for completion during the week of Oct. 21. The city asks motorists to continue to use caution and drive slowly through the work zone on 13th Street.
“We don’t simply look at one particular project at a time, but take in the comprehensive community vision for the future,” said Beall. “We want to be in a position to leverage future improvements from other agencies, such as Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and that is why these projects are so important.”
Looking to the future, the city continues to coordinate with CDOT in search of funding for an expansion of capacity into downtown from the west side of Steamboat Springs. Preliminary design concepts for a four lane highway to alleviate congestion have been prepared and tallied upward of $30 million. Statewide funding for transportation projects continues to be a challenge as recent funding measures have not been successful at the ballot box and the legislature grapples with funding priorities.
The engineering project on Oak Street between 6th and 7th Streets is currently on track to finish this phase of the program prior to Halloween, as scheduled, before taking a break until resuming in spring. Fish Creek Underpass has moved out of the creek as planned at this point and will also be completed around the end of October.
Contact Ben Beall, City Engineer, 970.871.8293 or emailMike Beurskens, Civil Engineer, 970.871.8273 or email