Wilson Gulch Road: City, County & CDOT RAMP Partnership Project Underway

February 11, 2015 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - DURANGO, CO – The project to construct Wilson Gulch Road is underway, with earthwork beginning in late January.

The City of Durango awarded the contract to Oldcastle SW Group Inc. of Bayfield for $8.2 million. The project is being done in partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and La Plata County, through CDOT’s Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance & Partnerships (RAMP) program.

“This is the first RAMP partnership project to break ground in our region,” CDOT Region 5 Transportation Director Kerrie Neet said. “There are seven total, and Wilson Gulch Road is the only one for which the local agency is assuming construction management and maintenance. We are very grateful to our partners on  this project.”

The greenfield construction project will build a 4,000-plus foot long, four-lane arterial street extending from the US 160/550 interchange roundabout east to the existing terminus of Wilson Gulch Drive in the Three Springs development. The project includes intersection improvements at High Llama Lane and a new intersection with a traffic signal at Ewing Mesa Road. Wilson Gulch Road is being constructed within existing City of Durango right-of-way limits and will be managed and maintained by the City upon its completion.

“Wilson Gulch Road will provide a secondary emergency access to Mercy Regional Medical Center and open up land to develop a regional retail center,” Durango City Manager Ron LeBlanc said.

The construction project is being funded through CDOT’s Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships *(RAMP) program. CDOT’s portion will be $4.29 million, with La Plata County contributing $1.3 million and the City of Durango funding $2.64 million. The roadway construction will be managed by the City of Durango with CDOT having oversight of the project construction and funding.

“We are excited to be a partner in this project. One of the county’s strategic priorities is economic development, including business attraction, mitigation of retail leakage and promotion of local buying,” La Plata County Manager Joe Kirby said. “This project will promote additional commercial development in this area, which will stimulate the local economy and create new employment, including both construction and retail jobs.”

The current construction schedule initiates the mass excavation and earthwork. Next, utility installation will begin followed by the concrete curb and gutter. The preparation of roadway base followed by the placement of the asphalt pavement is expected to be complete in December 2015. The schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.

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*This partnership project is receiving funding from RAMP, Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships. RAMP is CDOT’s way of better coordinating project expenditures and available funding. Under the RAMP program, CDOT will fund multi- year projects based on year of expenditure, rather than saving for the full amount of a project before construction begins. For more information, including a list of RAMP project requests, please see our website:  http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/RAMP.

RAMP partnership projects in CDOT’s Region 5 are:

SH 172 AT SH 151 INTERSECTION [La Plata County]

Applicant: Town of Ignacio Total Cost: $2.8 million RAMP Request: $1.4 million

Work: Adds turn lanes and signals to the intersection in downtown Ignacio.

Benefits: (Safety) Provides protected movements for pedestrians and vehicles. (Mobility) Reduces travel times—without a signal, in 2031 the peak morning delay was predicted to be 180.7 seconds, evening peak delay 999.9 seconds; (Economic) Better access for   oil and gas companies; less time in traffic means more productivity.


SH 145 AT CR P [Montezuma County] Applicant: Montezuma County

Total Cost: $1.7 million

RAMP Request: $1.6 million

Work: Constructs auxiliary turn lanes including northbound and southbound left-turn deceleration lanes and a southbound right- turn deceleration lane.

Benefits: (Safety) Reduces frequency of severe crashes. (Mobility) Improves travel times by eliminating the need for turning vehicles to stop.


US 550 • SKY ROCKET BOX CULVERT [Ouray County]

Applicant: City of Ouray Total Cost: $2 million  RAMP Request: $1.6 million

Work: Replaces an undersized metal culvert under US 550 at MP 94.282 with a concrete box culvert large enough to handle water and debris from Sky Rocket drainage during large run-off.

Benefits: (Safety) Adds guardrails and shoulders on either side of the drainage to safeguard vehicles from drop-off; (Mobility) Improves road conditions, reduces chance of closures during flooding.


US 285 IN ANTONITO [Conejos County] Applicant: Town of Antonito

Total Cost: $2.7 million

RAMP Request: $2.1 million

Work: Replaces storm drain system from 2nd Ave. to 12th Ave. on Main Street [US 285].

Benefits: (Maintenance) Allows the storm water to be collected at the basins and run through a storm drain through Main Street then be discharged in a receiving pond west of the town limits.


SH 62 RIDGWAY [Ouray County] Applicant: Town of Ridgway Total Cost: $13 million

RAMP Request: $10.4 million

Other Funding: $500,000

Work: Creates whole streets through and in downtown Ridgway including adding a center-turn lane from US 550 to Laura St. on SH 62, bike lanes, lighting, landscaping and context-sensitive design features [traffic calming and storm water management facilities, as well as intersection improvements].

Benefits: (Safety) Reduces crash frequency; (Mobility) Improves travel times by making it easier for vehicles to exit the highway.


US 24 BUENA VISTA [Chaffee County] Applicant: Town of Buena Vista

Total Cost: $2.5 million

RAMP Request: $2 million

Work: Enhances US 24 as it passes through the town by constructing sidewalks, raised medians, curb and gutter, pedestrian ramps and drainage improvements.

Benefits: (Safety) Reduces accidents by 69% and improves safety for all modes of travel.

US 160 • WILSON GULCH ROAD [La Plata County] Applicant: City of Durango

Total Cost: $6.4 million

RAMP Request: $4.3 million

Work: Facilitates construction of an approximately 3,516 linear foot section of Wilson Gulch Road between the US 160 interchange roundabout and the existing Wilson Gulch Road to the east.

Benefits: (Safety) Reduces crash frequency; (Mobility) Improves travel times for a limited area; (Economic) Provides secondary

access to regional hospital and provides direct access to a currently undeveloped commercial retail site adjacent to the highway.