With the weather finally clearing and warming up this past weekend, the town of Breckenridge began the next phase of a Main Street revitalization project that will close a portion of the thoroughfare until late June.
Late-season snowstorms pushed back the start of the construction work, which was initially slated to get under way April 14. Town officials say it is still on track to be completed before the thick of the summer tourism season.
The south end of Main Street will be closed to northbound traffic for the next several weeks while the work is ongoing, although pedestrian access will be maintained in both directions.
It is the second-to-last phase of a multi-year project to upgrade the downtown area with aesthetic and safety improvements, town officials say.
“In 2004, the town selected a design consultant to help study Main Street and the surrounding areas in an effort to identify possible enhancements … that would improve the already successful downtown experience,” Breckenridge spokeswoman Kim Dykstra-DiLallo stated in an email.
The results targeted a number of potential upgrades to the town's main drag. The extensive improvement project began in 2006 and is on track to wrap up with a final installment to be completed in the summer of 2014.
This year's work, priced at approximately $800,000, will involve the reconstruction of the Adams, Jefferson and Park avenues intersections with Main Street with bulb outs — the enlargement of street corners to provide additional space for pedestrians — surface improvements, sidewalk and crosswalk enhancements, a reconstructed storm sewer and upgrades to streetlights at all three intersections, according to town staff.
Similar construction work was done on the north end of Main Street last summer.
Next year's work will include streetscape improvements, with landscaping and flagstone paving, between Adams and Park avenues.
For the next several weeks, northbound traffic will be detoured to Park Avenue around the construction work. The southbound lane on Main Street will remain open throughout the construction.
The project is one of several planned in and around Breckenridge this spring and summer.
Improvements at Gold Pan Alley and Andorra Alley as well as the preliminary work for a new roundabout at Four O'Clock Road are also on the town's docket for the upcoming construction season.
The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin widening one of the last segments of Highway 9 between Frisco and Breckenridge to two lanes in each direction during the upcoming construction season.
Expansion work is also under way on Interstate 70 at the Twin Tunnels near Idaho Springs. The $106 million widening project includes the widening of the eastbound tunnel bore to accommodate a third highway lane through a four-mile stretch that frequently becomes congested.