Some Left Turns Now Operational for US 160/US 550 Through Durango

November 17, 2011 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - NOTE TO MOTORISTS: Signals will have different left-turn sequencing based on individual intersection needs; two left-turn lanes are now available at 32nd Street for improved traffic flow.

DURANGO – Today, motorists on US 160/550 through the city will notice blinking yellow left-turn arrows at six intersections, as part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s signal upgrade project. Permissive left-turn arrows (meaning a motorist can turn left when there is a safe break in oncoming traffic) are now functional at the following intersections:  17th Street, 22nd Street, 25th Street, 27th Street, 32nd Street (there are now two left-hand turn lanes for westbound 32nd Street), Animas View Drive. Arrows will also indicate red and green – see below for details.

TONIGHT: Left-turn arrow operation is expected to be functional at all intersections between SH 172 (Elmore’s Corner) and Dominguez Drive (at WalMart). Expect some single-lane closures in these areas.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Left-turn arrows will be in operation from Sawyer Drive to 9th Street. Weather permitting, all signals should be in full operation and the project will be complete by Sunday, November 20, if not before. Expect some single-lane closures in these areas.

“After the work is complete, we will conduct an ‘optimization run,’ which will test the efficiency of the system in operation,” CDOT Region 5 Traffic & Safety Engineer Mike McVaugh said. “Then we can make minor adjustments to further improve traffic flow along the corridor.”

PROJECT OVERVIEW: The safety-improvement project, contracted to Technology Constructors for $587,100, installs left-turn arrows at 18 intersections between SH 172 and Animas View Drive (excluding the intersections at SH 3 and at 14th Street.) The left-turn arrows will indicate green (for protected turning, meaning there will be no oncoming traffic during a left-turn movement); flashing yellow (permissive, left turns allowed when there is a safe break in traffic) and solid red (left turns are not permitted). Left arrow sequencing will vary among intersections based safety factors including traffic volume and accident history. Here is what motorists can expect:

(Note:  currently “PEAK” travel hours are 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; these hours will likely change during high-tourist season.)

  1. Animas View Drive south to 9th Street: Motorists will see arrows allowing both protected and permissive left turns all day; at night (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.), all left turns will be permissive.
  2. 14th Street intersection (at Burger King) – no changes were made.
  3. College Drive, Santa Rita Drive, Frontage at CR 210 and SH 172: Motorists will get arrows for both protected and permissive left-hand turns day and night.
  4. US 160/US 550 Junction (at Double Tree), and River Road (at Home Depot): Motorists will have protected left turns only during peak hours; both protective and permissive phases all other times.
  5. Sawyer, Dominguez, Farmington Hill and Three Springs Blvd: Protected left turns only all day long; both protected and permissive phases at night.
  6. SH 3: no changes were made

The project also has included curb and gutter improvements combined with curb ramp upgrades at College Drive. There is also a new lane configuration at Domiguez Drive to allow for simultaneous left turns, eliminating the current split phase of the signal and shortening the overall signal timing length (less time waiting for a green light).

For project information, call 970-317-1701. For information on other CDOT projects statewide, sign up to receive FREE updates to your e-mail or cell phone by going to our web site at and choosing the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. Or you can visit or call 511 from anywhere in the state. Thank you for going Slow for the Cone Zone!