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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Moving access won't solve Highway 65 problems

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Dear Editor:

Try building a house in Orchard City off of Highway 65 and see what happens. Seven years ago I bought three and a half acres off Highway 65 and this past summer built a small house on the back corner of the property. I had bought the property with the help of an attorney and thought everything was ready to go. I thought the well-developed road to the north of my property was my driveway, only to find it was an easement for Delta-Montrose Electric on my property. DMEA gave me permission to use the easement as my driveway, as long as I didn't build anything that would obstruct the access. That was no problem since the house was being built on the back part of the property. I asked them to send a letter to Orchard City to that effect, which they did.

In the meantime, CDOT informs me I had to move the access some 30 to 40 feet south to line up with the road, Horseshoe Lane, an attempt to limit the number of accesses off Highway 65. I debated the fact the access road already there seemed to be the most logical way to go and moving my access road would not solve the real problem, which is the congestion and dangerous conditions related to the increase of traffic on an outdated highway.

I finally had to get a certified engineer to draw up plans and submit them to CDOT for approval in order to get a notice to proceed (NP). I finally secured a NP and was fairly confident that I could get my certificate of occupancy from Orchard City, since they had been telling me I needed the NP before that could happen.

I contacted Orchard City only to be told I could not get my certificate of occupancy until the road was built, although the access permit from CDOT gave me a year to put it in. The mayor of Orchard City said it is the town's policy for the road to be put in before the certificate of occupancy is issued. Without the certificate of occupancy, I can not turn my construction loan into a mortgage, pretty important. I stated once again the problem on Highway 65 is not my access road but the outdated highway needing turn lanes, frontage roads and widening.

I have lived in Delta for the majority of my life and the flow of traffic on Highway 65 is totally out of control. The morning and evening traffic can back up with 15 or more cars if someone decides to turn in areas that should have turn lanes, or if a school bus stops to drop off or pick up kids. This is a serious problem for drivers. I see CDOT having funding to do road improvements everywhere else but on Highway 65. The safety of our residents should be the priority of every town government served by Highway 65.

Melody Sebesta
Orchard City

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