Garfield County officials are asking the Colorado Department of Transportation to redesignate $800,000 that was to go for improvements at the CMC turnoff on Highway 82 to another nearby intersection that they consider to be more dangerous.
CDOT project planners, through the Intermountain Transportation Planning Region (IMTPR) process, had designated $800,000 toward the estimated $2 million project to make safety upgrades at Highway 82 and Garfield County Road 114 (CMC Road).
However, county commissioners have long viewed the Cattle Creek intersection two miles to the south, where two county roads, a frontage road and several private driveways merge at an unsignalized highway intersection, as a bigger safety concern.
The CMC turnoff already has a traffic signal, stop signs and functions as a more traditional highway intersection, County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky pointed out during a recent discussion with county road and bridge staff about the dueling projects.
“I’d rather see that $800,000 [in CDOT funds] go to Cattle Creek,” he said in directing county staff to request that CDOT redesignate the funding.
CDOT spokesperson Tracy Trulove said the request would have to go back through the IMTPR review, a process that involves input from various local governments in the region.
“That funding was already designated, and we would like to see that [CMC] project get moving,” Trulove said.
Without matching funds from the county, though, the state money will be put back into the state’s funding pool to be considered for use elsewhere in the region, she said.
“We have advanced that funding in good faith for two years now,” Trulove said. “It’s my understanding that project is not now scheduled to go forward.”
In the meantime, the county is planning to move forward with the Cattle Creek intersection work regardless of CDOT’s participation.
But it may have to proceed without further financial help from the developer of the approved 366-home River Edge subdivision on the west side of Highway 82 from the Cattle Creek intersection.
Developers agreed in 2012 to help the county design and pay for construction of the reconfigured intersection east of the highway in conjunction with the subdivision’s main entrance on the other side.
Since then, however, developer Carbondale Investments LLC has obtained preliminary approvals from CDOT to move the main entrance for the development 2,500 feet to the north, offset from the Cattle Creek intersection, according to a proposal before the county commissioners.
As a result, the company suggests paying the county nearly $60,000 for work already done on the intersection design, but to not be obligated for construction funding since the subdivision access point is being moved.
The matter is set to be discussed during the afternoon session of the regular Monday Garfield Board of County Commissioners meeting. The proposed access change would also be subject to the county reviewing a future development plan amendment.