US 160 and US 550 Durango Continuous Flow Intersection

Graphic provided courtesy of the Durango Herald

Grand Opening

CDOT and contractor Concrete Works of Colorado held a grand opening event Aug. 15, 2014 to mark the on-schedule completion of work for the US 160/US 550 Continuous Flow Intersection, a first for the Department. The work began on March 17, with work on the urban section's through lanes completed before the Memorial Day holiday weekend—an important milestone.

The total project cost, from design through construction, was $6.69 million, a third of which came from federal safety funds.

Project Overview

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) began work on its first Continuous Flow Intersection (CFI) project on Monday, March 17, 2014, at the US 160/550 west intersection in Durango. The CFI is a proven and promising approach to reducing congestion and increasing safety at high-traffic intersections, based on other CFIs constructed nationwide.

A CFI effectively removes a left-turn movement from an intersection by re-configuring the highway to allow vehicles to cross to the left side of the highway in advance of the intersection, allowing for additional concurrent traffic movements that are not possible at a conventional signalized intersection. These additional concurrent movements increase signal efficiency and provide the opportunity for longer green times for southbound and eastbound movements. Vehicles traveling northbound on US 550 (from Walmart, for example) turning left onto westbound US 160 (to Cortez) will utilize a new signal to turn in advance of the current stoplight, cross southbound traffic to a new separated cross southbound traffic to a new separated lane, and complete their turn onto US 160 from the new lane.

This intersection sees 30,000 to 45,000 vehicles each day, depending upon the season. That is more motorized traffic than any state highway on the Western Slope (including I-70) and about the same amount of traffic as the busiest state highways in Greeley.

Other project details include:

  • Improved bicyclist transportation with bike lanes, bike boxes, green pavement markings, signing, and bicycle-capable signal detection;
  • Improved pedestrian transportation with median refuges, shortened roadway crossing distance through raised curbed islands and medians, raised crosswalks, signing and rectangular rapid flash beacons;
  • The total construction cost of the CFI is estimated at $6.1 million.

Please see more project details posted in the presentation and news links on this page.

Graphic provided courtesy of the Durango Herald