County commissioners and municipal officials got an update on area road projects from regional Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) staff in a meeting at the courthouse last week.
Design work on the State Highway 92 railroad overpass at Stengel’s Hill is complete.
Engineers from CDOT are awaiting a final review of the plans from railroad managers before moving on to the next phase of the work.
The project contractor has been brought on board, and it is hoped that “we can get in and start work this year,” said one CDOT engineer at the meeting. Work could begin as early as mid-September, they said.
The current at-grade Union Pacific crossing will be eliminated, a highway overpass will be constructed and the highway will be realigned to meet up with the new structure, according to the CDOT project outline.
Other enhancements to the project area will include an eastbound climbing lane from Sulfur Gulch to the west edge of Rogers Mesa and the addition of right- and left-turn accel/decel lanes in both directions at the Gunnison River Pleasure Park intersection.
Looking further into the future, improvements will eventually be taken across Rogers Mesa, through the Town of Hotchkiss to the intersection of SH92 and SH 133, according to the construction report issued at the meeting.
As the work gets underway, there will at times be single-lane alternating traffic on SH 92, CDOT says.
Depending on the timing of the railroad’s approval, work could extend into the spring of 2016.
CDOT officials said that other engineering projects in this area are in process. They are the intersection of SH 65 and Cedaredge Main Street improvements; the Hotchkiss Cedar Drive bike and pedestrian trail project; and a City of Delta Welcome Center project.
Improvements to the SH 92/65 intersection to increase visibility and safety did not “make the cut” for design funding this year. However, the project is still “definitely in the plan,” commissioners were told, and it will be evaluated for competitive funding in an upcoming round.
CDOT will begin construction this fall on a signal enhancement project installing fiberoptic cable that will serve SH 50 from Delta’s 1st Street to 12th Street. The work will improve the timing of signal lights and “reduce stopping and starting,” commissioners were told. The project is scheduled to begin in September and conclude by next April.
Among the goals that CDOT hopes to have accomplished by the end of 2014 in Delta County are the paving of the County Line parking lot on Grand Mesa and continued patching of road “dips” on SH 50 north of Delta.
As in past years, CDOT spent most of its resources in Delta County during 2013 in snow and ice control and removal. A total of $586,700 of the road agency’s overall $975,505 spent here last year went to snow and ice work.
CDOT spent $126,475 on “facilities” including road signage, and another $111,817 on roadway surface work.
The CDOT officials told commissioners that the agency’s statewide annual budget has remained essential stable for the past three years at around $1.1 billion.