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Downtown project to continue in April

Posted: Friday, Jan 18th, 2013

Photo by Toni Steffens-Steward Monte Vista Public Works Director Robert Vance and CDOT Professional Engineer Keith Magowan answer questions at the open house.

MONTE VISTA—The Colorado Department of Transportation hosted an open house on Thursday, Jan. 9 to take comments from the community about upcoming roadwork on Highway 160 through Monte Vista.

Community members and representatives from the Monte Vista city council came to the meeting at the Chamber of Commerce building to ask questions and offer their own suggestions on the plans. The project is scheduled to begin in April and is expected to be finished by early fall.

The highway will be redesigned with three lanes, one each direction and a center turning lane, as well as a four foot bike lane and extended sidewalks. There will also be a number of aesthetic changes along the route.

Some of the concerns expressed at the meeting were maintaining the same number of parking spaces, convenience and safety. Public Works Director Robert Vance said that the number of parking spaces along the highway would remain the same, but that a few spots at the intersections of Highway 160 and Washington, Adams and Jefferson may be lost to accommodate f ADA accessible parking and ramps.

Vance says the project will include new signs that will help with “way-finding,” where drivers will be directed to public parking areas, as well as other areas of interest in the town.

The plan also includes a four-foot bike lane that will help improve safety for bicyclists and will also create more space between the traffic and parking areas. The sidewalk will be extended by one foot, with four feet constructed in a colored concrete toward the street and five feet of the sidewalk to remain as it is currently. This design is meant to create a more pedestrian friendly experience.

Tree boxes will also be located in the concrete section of the sidewalk. Vance said that it may take the town some time to get the trees in place, and there will be concrete slabs in those places until they are able to place the trees.

Pedestrian safety is also improved by creating bulb-out corners that will reduce the distance to cross at intersections and will accommodate ramps.

Monte Vista Mayor Jose “Art” Medina said, “I think it’s going to be something good for the city.” One of the primary reasons for the redesign of the highway is to slow down traffic, which will encourage people to pay attention to businesses along the highway, and to make the stretch more appealing.

CDOT has worked closely with the town planning this project, and will continue to work together through the construction.

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