New flashing yellow turn arrow at US 24/US 285 junction enables permissive left-hand turns

March 24, 2014 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Signal also set up to allow for non-interrupted traffic flow from adjacent bridge construction

CHAFFEE COUNTY, CO – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed new traffic signal heads at the intersection of US 24/US 285 just west of Johnson Village. The upgrades enable smoother traffic flow at the junction as they enable turning movements based on traffic volumes.

A flashing left-turn arrow was installed for southbound traffic (from Buena Vista) turning eastbound (towards Johnson Village or Denver). A flashing left-turn arrow gives drivers a “permissive” left turn, meaning they can turn left when there is a safe break in traffic. Previously, southbound drivers could only turn left when they received a green arrow, and stopped on a red arrow. The flashing yellow (which is also signed above “yield to oncoming traffic”) improves the mobility at the junction by allowing this left-turn movement to occur more frequently throughout the day and night.

A southbound left-turning driver does still receive a “protected” green left-turn arrow as well, if he or she has been waiting for a break in traffic for at least seven seconds. In-pavement loop detection will recognize a waiting vehicle, and the turn arrow will then turn green. During this green “protected” left-turn phase, oncoming northbound traffic will get a red light. A new pedestrian signal will also enable those on foot to safely cross.

An added bonus from the recent work:  during the adjacent bridge replacement project on US 24/285 over the UPRR in Johnson Village, traffic-control personnel will now be able to switch the westbound (from Johnson Village) signal to green as periodic construction traffic queues are clearing.

INFORMATION: For information on CDOT projects statewide, log on to or call 511 from anywhere in the state. To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at