Highway 9 gets ready to expand | SummitDaily.com

Highway 9 gets ready to expand

ASHLEY DICKSONsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY – A public meeting this week regarding the expansion of Highway 9 between Agape Church and Swan Mountain Road showed plans are finally complete and crews are eager to break ground come April. The new expansion will widen the road by adding two additional lanes, a raised median, as well as a curb and gutter system. The new road will also include a school zone in front of Summit High School, in hopes of making it safer for students walking to and from the bus stop. The goal of the project, which has been almost eight years in the making, is to improve traffic flow and safety while reducing traffic conflicts. “I think it’s about time this plan got kicked in to action,” said part-time Breckenridge resident Lauren Kwan. “That area is always heavily congested during commuting hours and this expansion should help to ease that problem.” Representatives from CDOT, PBS&J engineering consulting firm, and Zak Dirt Inc. construction company were all on hand at the public meeting to answer questions and show off satellite image blueprints of the new road. “The construction is going to be broken into three phases,” said Angelo Mancina with Zak Dirt construction. “Traffic should move pretty easily during construction but we have to have room to do our work.”The first phase of construction will add a traffic lane to the east side of the road while working on adjacent side streets. Next traffic will be split down the middle and construction crews will install a raised median and drainage pipes. Lastly, construction crews will tackle the west side of the road and, if everything goes according to plan, construction should be completed by November. The total budget for the new expansion is $5.35 million and, in addition to adding lanes and drainage pipes, construction teams pledged the design will take into account residential and environmental needs. “One of the main concerns was the traffic noise at the Farmer’s Corner development,” said Wes Goff, senior project manager with PBS&J. “To combat this we are installing a 500-foot concrete noise wall in front of the development to minimize noise.”In an effort to address environmental concerns the new blueprints also include the construction of a water quality pond located in front of Summit High School. “This pond helps to control water quality because the drainage pipes will feed into it and then all the excess sediment will then settle to the bottom before the water reaches the reservoir,” said Mancina.So far, project officials said they have received very little public backlash regarding the construction and feel that the community is on-board with the plans.The new construction project is just one of the phases involved in the ongoing road expansion that will run from Breckenridge to Frisco. Other projects currently in the design process will continue the expansion of Highway 9 from Valley Brook Road, to Coyne Valley Road, Coyne Valley Road to Tiger Road, and Tiger Road to Agape Church.Ashley Dickson can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at adickson@summitdaily.com.