Breckenridge’s infrastructure, cultural improvements
Blink, and you might miss it. Pieces of the town of Breckenridge change all the time, and this mud season — albeit extra wet for construction contractors — was no exception.
The town recently completed a new park on North Main Street as well as a beautification project of the roundabout entrance to town.
Heated sidewalks are in the works for those steeper, shady sections that become slippery in the winter, and another roundabout at a high-traffic intersection will be coming soon.
These capital improvement projects are all funded by the town’s real estate transfer tax, said town spokeswoman Kim Dykstra, which is funding town officials feel they can’t always rely on, so it is used for one-time projects.
For 2015, the town approved roughly $5.87 million in spending on capital-improvement projects.
This is down from about $15.6 million in 2014, a figure which Dykstra said comprises a variety of previously approved projects and is an estimate as the audit is still being finalized.
For 2013, the town approved roughly $5.93 million in capital improvement spending, and, in 2012, that figure was about $3.47 million.
ALREADY IN USE
Families have been enjoying the town’s newest and third park, Prospector Park, since it finished in mid-June.
The park, which features a kids playground with various climbing structures, will have an official ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony later this year after a “Tom’s Baby” sculpture commissioned by the Dudick family and a historical mining exhibit are installed in the fall.
A block and a half south on Main Street, the Old Masonic Hall was renovated this mud season as part of improvements to the town’s arts district. The building celebrated its reopening in mid-June and has since been used by Breckenridge Creative Arts, the town’s arts and culture nonprofit.
Also in mid-June, the town finished its work on the artificial turf at Kingdom Field and celebrated that project’s completion the same day as the town skate park grand opening.
More recently, the town put finishing touches on outdoor features of the Breckenridge Grand Vacations Community Center, which opened in January, including masonry, painting, landscaping, benches and bike racks.
The town will celebrate those aspects with dedications of the outdoor furniture, garden and an art feature with a free, public event Saturday at the center from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Breckenridge finished the Highway 9 roundabout at the north end of town in June, and three spruce trees ranging from 16 feet tall to 25 feet tall were installed to greet residents and visitors.
Beautification of the median also finished to Coyne Valley Road, but the town will continue a section of median from the Coyne Valley intersection to Revette Drive in September and October.
Also in the fall, the town will finish two of three heated sidewalks scheduled for this year. The town finished Washington Avenue between Main Street and Ridge Street Alley following a similar project on Lincoln Avenue in 2014. That work will continue moving south in September and October on Adams Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, and Dykstra said town officials thought of that project as an investment in pedestrian safety.
On Ridge Street, demolition of the Breckenridge Theatre began this summer as part of a $2.55 million expansion and remodeling project.
Dykstra said after four decades of shows, the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre nonprofit told the town it was selling out shows and would be able to seat more people and attract bigger productions with an expansion. The project will increase seating by 30 percent.
As Breckenridge experiences some growing pains — especially with parking — the town will add 62 parking spaces to the Steven C. West Ice Arena parking lot in September and October.
Also at the arena, the town plans to start a re-roofing project in the fall to find a long-term solution to a maintenance issue caused by snow and ice falling from a higher part of the roof to a lower part.
On the opposite end of town, a bus stop will be added on the west side of north Airport Road, where marijuana dispensaries recently started attracting more evening business. A handful of streetlights will also be added for pedestrian safety.
Some construction projects town officials have discussed this year will take place in the spring of 2016, including Blue River restoration work at Coyne Valley Road and a roundabout at the intersection of Four O’Clock Road and Highway 9/Park Avenue.
Breckenridge is working with CDOT on the single-lane roundabout, Dykstra said. “We know that this is an issue, and we really feel that a roundabout there is the best solution.”
*This story has been corrected to reflect two errors in the original verson. The Breckenridge Theatre was incorrectly named, and the cost of the theatre’s expansion and renovation used an initial amount that the town later increased.
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