CDOT Installs Flashing Left-Turn Arrow Signals at US 160/550 and Santa Rita

July 21, 2015 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - DURANGO – Tomorrow, July 22, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will install new left-turn signal arrows (flashing yellow arrows) at US 160/550 and Santa Rita Drive.

This is the final side-street location at US 160/550 where flashing yellow arrows will be installed (18 intersection total, excluding the Continuous Flow Intersection at the US 160/550 west junction).

Traffic impacts will be minimal during the brief projects. During the day, motorists will see crews working on the west-side signal (at the park) from the raised median, but no lanes will be closed. From 6:30 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m., motorists will encounter some single-lane closures on Santa Rita at the intersection but all traffic movements will be able to move through the intersection.

CDOT PROJECT INFORMATION: To stay up to date on other CDOT projects, traffic impacts and more, the public may sign up for “CDOT Alerts.” Go to and click on the white envelop at the bottom of the page. Lane closures and road conditions are also available on CDOT’s web site. Follow us on Twitter (@coloradodot) and be sure to “like” CDOT on Facebook.


Making Safe Left Turns at a Signal:

Model Traffic Code For Colorado Part 7, Rights of Way, 702. Vehicle turning left. “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard.”  This means that all left-turning vehicles, at signalized or un-signalized locations, are required to yield to oncoming traffic, except when they have a green arrow.  Even if left turns have a green arrow, which means oncoming traffic will have a red, it is prudent to make sure that oncoming traffic is actually stopping and not running their red light.

Colorado Driver Handbook:

“Left Turns - If you are turning left, you should wait at the stop line or crosswalk until there is a gap in traffic large enough to allow you to pull into the intersection and complete your turn. Pulling into the intersection to wait to turn left blocks the intersection for emergency vehicles, limits visibility for oncoming traffic and puts you in a position to get in an accident if the light changes and oncoming traffic runs the red light while you are making your turn.”  In addition, if a left turn is made on a steady yellow and the opposing through-direction also has a steady yellow, any collision will be the fault of left turn for failing to yield the right of way, as required. Another reason to wait at the left turn stop bar is that the signal detection is at the stop bar. In order to activate the green arrow, the signal must detect traffic waiting at the stop bar.