Road projects to boost traffic flows in Summit County
Ryan Summerlin January 7, 2013
Drivers may see improvements to two sticky intersections in Summit County over the next few years.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials are planning to expand and improve the Frisco roundabout at the Interstate 70 interchange and the intersection at Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne.
Both projects are still in the planning and design stages and will require right-of-way acquisitions.
The Frisco roundabout, which frequently backs up during peak traffic periods, will likely be expanded to two or more lanes to accommodate future development, including a Whole Foods Market planned near the highway.
“It’s already a problem there,” CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said. “But because of Whole Foods and other land-use decisions … we want to have something in place there because the traffic situation is going to be exacerbated.”
In addition to new lanes, the circumference of the roundabout will also be increased to make it easier for large trucks to maneuver.
The project is expected to cost $1.5-$2 million and CDOT stated it plans to work with both the county and the town of Frisco on the project.
“We’ll be involved in helping come up with the design and reviewing it,” assistant Summit County manager Thad Noll said. “It’s a reasonably easy project.”
CDOT does not yet have a set timeline for the project.
In Silverthorne, transportation officials say they will likely be redesigning the intersection at Rainbow Drive with a new signal and additional turn lanes in 2014.
The $200,000 project came out of a feasibility study of the area last year and is expected to help improve traffic flows.
CDOT plans to alter the geometry of the intersection, allowing vehicles making left turns off Rainbow Drive and Wildernest Road onto Highway 9 to get the green arrow at the same time.
The Frisco roundabout and Rainbow Drive plans are among a mounting pile of projects on the CDOT docket for Summit County.
CDOT has highlighted eight other local road projects that could receive attention and funding – to the tune of more than $16 million total, based on current estimates – in the next two years.
“There’s more going on at the local and regional level with CDOT involvement than I’ve seen in many years,” Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs told the Summit Daily in March, a few days after CDOT handed local officials a three-page list of current and pending Summit County projects. “It’s just exciting to see this whole page of what CDOT’s working on.”
That page included the long-awaited missing pieces of the Hwy. 9 widening project: $7 million in new lanes and infrastructure between Tiger Road and Agape church, as well as widening from Coyne Valley Road to Tiger Road and new roundabouts at Fairview Boulevard and Four O’Clock Road.
The state transportation department has received federal funding to help pay for the improvements between Tiger Road and Agape, which will include an additional lane in each direction, a new bridge over the Blue River with wildlife crossing space, drainage improvements and wetland mitigation, according to a CDOT report.
CDOT has also committed to widening Hwy. 9 between Coyne Valley Road and Tiger Road – a $2.5 million proposal that includes drainage improvements and recpath relocation along with the roundabout. The project, which is a high priority for the county commissioners, could go out for bids by spring 2013.