CDOT, County, Elected Officials & Community Members Cut Ribbon on New CR 225A at US 160
Today, the Colorado Department of Transportation cut the ribbon on the new intersection with La Plata County Road 225A east of Durango. The project, which wraps up for the winter and will be finalized in the spring of 2011, was funded in part by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA). While the project was a high priority for the region, it was not expected to move forward for several more years, due to lack of funding.
“Thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act we were able to make significant improvements to this stretch of US 160,” CDOT Region 5 Transportation Director Richard Reynolds said. “The newly constructed intersection, auxiliary lanes and wildlife features that this project has created will enhance safety and mobility along this corridor, which receives increasing amounts of traffic each year.”
The critical work thus far has relocated and improved the intersection of US 160 and La Plata County roads 222/223, moving the new intersection approximately one mile to the east and improving site distance and adding turn lanes. The total project cost is $8.4 million—$4 million from CDOT’s ARRA funding, $3.9 million from CDOT’s Regional Priority Program funding and $500,000 from La Plata County.
The project work zone on US 160 extends from mile post 92.9 through mile post 94.8 (east of the Florida River Bridge). The existing intersection of CR 222/223 and US 160 lies at the top of a hill, where the county road approaches on both sides connected at acute angles. Sight distance for motorists on both US 160 and CR 222/223 was limited and no auxiliary lanes existed to allow drivers to safely merge onto or off of the state highway. The project constructed a new county road connection to the east, creating a traditional “T” intersection with the brand new CR 225A, and adding a center turn lane and acceleration/deceleration lanes in both directions on US 160.
The project has also included the construction of 10,000 linear feet of new right-of-way fence, 13,000 linear feet of wildlife fencing, four wildlife escape ramps, wildlife detection and signing, 10 pedestrian gates, guardrail and major drainage improvements. The project was contracted to Four Corners Materials of Durango. Work this season wraps up this month and crews will return in the spring to complete final paving on the south end of CR 225A and several driveways. Final ditch work, striping and landscaping will also be done, with a project completion by May 26, 2011.
"The intersection improvement for access to County Roads 222 and 223 has been a goal of La Plata County and the Colorado Department of Transportation since 1999, and we are very pleased to see this project come to fruition," said Commissioner Wally White, chair of the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners. "This will greatly improve the safety and traffic flow for our residents in the eastern part of the county."
In all, Colorado is receiving ARRA Funds of more than $400 million for transportation projects and $103 million for transit projects statewide. For more information about how Colorado has put the recovery act to work, visit www.colorado.gov/recovery. For a list of CDOT’s Recovery Act projects and additional ARRA information, visit www.dot.state.co.us/arra.