US 50/SH 92 intersection improvements are planned

By Pat Sunderland


The Colorado Department of Transportation is planning to address safety, sidewalks and drainage at Delta's busiest intersection. Stolfus and Associates, project engineers, outlined the Highway 92/50 intersection improvement project for the Delta City Council Tuesday and at an open house on Wednesday of last week.

The biggest change will actually take place south of the intersection, where the "tricky" left turns out of City Market and Ute Street onto the highway will be prevented by the construction of a raised median. Drivers will be restricted to "right in, right out" movements, but will be able to make u-turns at both Gunnison River Drive and the 92/50 intersection.

CDOT officials emphasized the project is not currently funded, so it will be two to three years before any work takes place. They hope to have the final design wrapped up by March, so the project will be ready when funding is procured. The cost is estimated at $2 million.

Among the safety improvements outlined by CDOT were:

• Addition of a second left-turn lane from southbound US 50 to SH 92.

• Construction of a raised median along US 50 to restrict left turns into and out of Ute Street and City Market (implements the City of Delta US50/SH 92 access control plan).

• Replacement of old traffic and pedestrian signals. The overhead sign structures are considered "oversized" for current application. They create roadside and median obstructions, and are expensive to maintain. Simplified signs, including brown destination signs for Grand Mesa and the North Rim of the Black Canyon, will be placed on signal mast arms and along the roadway.

City officials had some suggestions for improved signage directing motorists to Confluence Drive, the city's alternate truck route.

Sidewalk construction involves:

• Reconstruction of the four intersection corners to meet ADA compliance.

• Addition of a sidewalk connection across the east side of the railroad tracks from the Maverik to Ute Street.

Additional drainage facilities and replacement of damaged pipe is also anticipated.

One-on-one stakeholder meetings are planned in November, to be followed by right-of-way acquisition, once funding is identified.