Public Involvement

Jan. 25, 2016, Open House

What: At 5 p.m. Jan. 25, 2016, CDOT hosted a public open house at the Rocky Mountain Innosphere in Fort Collins.

Who: Six CDOT representatives and representatives from contractor Lawson Construction addressed concerns. Approximately 60 residents and business representatives attended the open house.

Q & A

Q: Could the project be completed faster if through traffic were diverted down Shields to Willox for part of the construction?

A: Generally speaking, it's helpful and safer to have less traffic during construction. However, there are many additional considerations to consider for detour routes:

  • How would this detour impact the many residents and businesses along this particular stretch that we would detour traffic around?
    Jax, Ron's Equipment, Aragon, Horsepower Auto, and the many small businesses might object to traffic being routed away from their businesses, and would still need to maintain access to everyone's home.
  • How would the people who use and live along Shields and Willox be impacted?
  • Another consideration is the use of local roads.  CDOT would pay Fort Collins or Larimer County to use these roads and would be responsible for damage to the road due to the increase in traffic. US 287 is a designated truck route and smaller collector roads like Willox and North Shields (in this stretch) are not typically designed to handle the heavy impacts of truck traffic.
  • The slight increase in efficiency (due to still maintaining residential/business access) does not appear to be worth the high costs of obtaining/maintaining a detour.

While there will be impacts for the next few years, we'll do our best to work quickly and keep those to a minimum. The project team does not want to be out there any longer than it must.

Q: Why build an expensive roundabout when the present system seems to work well?

A: CDOT looked into several alternatives for a free-flow intersection at this location. A roundabout scored highest on the criteria used to evaluate the alternatives (safety, level of service, free-flow movements, reduce visual impacts, minimize ROW need, and reduce/eliminate truck stops at the light) and was less expensive than the other options.

Generally speaking, experiences in the United States show a reduction in crashes after building a roundabout.  Another benefit is that angles of impact for collisions are better in a roundabout than a standard T-intersection. A large obstacle for constructing a roundabout is often right-of-way constraints; however, this roundabout will be constructed within existing CDOT ROW.

Q: Do truckers like roundabouts?

A: Each trucker will have his/her own opinion about roundabouts (love or hate). The roundabout has been designed to accommodate the truck volumes on this route of simutaneous passage of a semi-trailer in combination with a passenger car. This will help in disouraging high-circulating speeds (improve safety) while accomodating trucks. The design's accomodation of trucks was evident through the use of AutoTUN paths (adaptive simulation).

Q: Why will the job take so long?

A: There are many factors in determining the length of a project. Railroads, roundabouts, irrigation ditches, intersections high traffic volume, utilities, phasing, large amounts of dirt work and weather all play significant roles in determining construction length. There will be impacts to traffic for the next few years, which we will try to mitigate as best as possible. We appreciate your patience as we try to get this project completed as quickly and reasonably possible.

Q: Why not have a left-turn lane from southbound US 287 to eastbound CO 1 (Terry Lake Road)

A: An alalysis regarding this intersection found that there is no left-turn crash history at the intersection, and the analysis also shows an increase in stops, delay and fuel constmption with the addition of a southbound left-turn phase.

It would make turns easier for drivers turning onto CO 1, but it would be at the expense of others and would degrade overall intersection performance. The signals at this intersection are maintained by the City of Fort Collins through a contract agreement with CDOT. They perform routine traffic counts and monitor the intersection. If left-turn phasing eventually becomes warranted, the City of Fort Collins would install the phase at that time as part of its contract.