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Highway project planned for MV

Posted: Friday, Jan 11th, 2013

Monte Vista City Manager Don Van Wormer, left, speaks with Colorado Department of Transportation Resident Engineer David Valentinelli, center, and CDOT Engineer Keith Magowan, right, during an open house regarding the CDOT project planned this summer in downtown Monte Vista. Courier photo by Ruth Heide

Courier editor

MONTE VISTA — Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) staff last night shared plans for highway improvements through downtown Monte Vista.

The $3-4 million project will go to bid on February 14 and begin construction in early April, with construction conclusion anticipated this fall.

The project will involve lane realignment downtown from four lanes to two (one each direction) with a center turn lane and four-foot bike lanes on each side.

Asphalt is proposed to be laid on Highway 160 from Jack’s Market to Batterson with concrete from that point to the Mansion and asphalt overlay to the railroad, according to CDOT Engineer Keith Magowan.

He said the project will include Americans with Disabilities ramps, curbs, gutter and sidewalks, which will be widened for pedestrian accessibility.

The project will also improve signaled intersections, improve turning areas at intersections through the reach of the project and incorporate “bulb outs” at intersections to keep traffic in the lanes, provide aesthetics and assist with pedestrian safety.

Magowan said one of the goals of the project will be to slow traffic down through downtown Monte Vista.

Monte Vista City Manager Don Van Wormer said the CDOT project follows through nicely with recent utility work downtown and efforts by Monte Vista city council to improve and enhance the town. To reach this point has taken several years and involved numerous partners, he added.

He said CDOT has worked well with the city in planning this project and cooperating with council and staff.

“It made sense for us to partner together to do this all as one project,” Van Wormer said.

He added, “It’s going to be changing the face of the downtown tremendously creating a better pedestrian and business friendly environment.”

He commended the city council for their enthusiasm and support of downtown improvements. The city spent $800,000 on Phase I for infrastructure and worked with Xcel and other utility companies to take overhead lines underground in the downtown area.

Monte Vista was one of four pilot communities in then-Governor Ritter’s Main Street Initiative, which has enabled the city to acquire funding such as Department of Local Affairs support.

“Monte Vista has been a community on the move,” Van Wormer said.

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