A Hwy. 92 overpass being designed for the Stengel's Hill grade crossing is the first phase of CDOT work that will eventually bring road safety improvements across Rogers Mesa.
The Hwy. 92 corridor from Sulfur Gulch to Hotchkiss is the roadbuilders' top regional priority, said Ron Alexander, CDOT engineer.
The DCI last year first reported on CDOT's design work for the Stengel's Hill railroad overpass. It will extend recent Hwy. 92 improvements that were completed from Austin to Sulfur Gulch about two years ago.
CDOT engineers describe the project as "pretty extensive." Work constructing the overpass will take place north of the existing roadway, and traffic will be permanently routed on the relocated roadway when completed. Eight-foot-wide shoulders will be added to the roadway and the current at-grade crossing will be eliminated.
The overpass portion of the work will include an improved intersection at the Pleasure Park entrance with accel/decel lanes.
Engineers had hoped to have construction work begin this year, but design work is still under way and that won't happen. Once there is a final approval from the Union Pacific Railroad, CDOT hopes the work can begin at the earliest with the onset of 2013 construction season.
The $12 million project draws funding from a variety of sources: railroad safety improvements funds, state FASTER program collections, and gasoline taxes.
The phase following overpass construction will see improvements across Rogers Mesa to Bridge Street in Hotchkiss.
CDOT right-of-way agents have been "knocking on doors, so property owners know we are coming," said Alexander.
The biggest safety
concern on the Rogers Mesa stretch of highway is rear end collisions that occur when traffic is stopped in the roadway waiting for traffic to clear before making a left-hand turn into driveways.
Engineers have considered extensive use of a continuous left turn lane or center turn lane, but that option would require a lot of right-of-way, Alexander said. Still, some use of the center turn lanes is possible in the project.
Current planning is focused on a two-lane roadway with eight-foot-wide paved shoulders. There are planned accel/decel lanes at 3100, 3200, and 3300 roads, Alexander said.
Highway 92 improvements are at the top of CDOT's regional priority list, Alexander said. A stretch of highway through Blue Creek Canyon comes up second. There is a tie for the third between Hwy. 133 and Hwy. 550 south of Montrose.
Alexander said that Hwy. 133 has higher accident and fatality rates, "So, it's easy to spend money there first."blog comments powered by Disqus