133 work high on CDOT’s list
Post Independent Staff
Carbondale is in prime position to receive state transportation funding to reconstruct Highway 133 through town.
The only problem is, there’s little money to be had.
Despite CDOT’s financial problems caused by a general downturn in the state’s economy, Carbondale assistant town manager Bentley Henderson seemed positive about the town’s chances of getting the road fixed during the next decade.
The project received a fortuitous No. 3 ranking in CDOT’s Intermountain Transportation Planning Region 2030 plan that prioritized the top 160 projects in the region. The ITPR board ratified the list Thursday.
“We didn’t expect it,” Henderson said of the ranking. “We really didn’t have any expectations.”
The estimated $24 million project “is essentially the reconstruction of Highway 133 from Highway 82 to Meadowood Drive,” Henderson said.
“The big-ticket stuff is the bridge and the reconstruction of the highway itself,” he said.
The project would turn Highway 133 into a four-lane road with a median and with pedestrian/bike lanes on both sides.
The ITPR Board placed Carbondale’s project just behind the Maroon Creek Bridge replacement and State Highway 9 from Frisco to Breckenridge.
“And it’s better than that,” Henderson said.
Carbondale’s project could be moved even further up the list if Aspen and Pitkin County receive the federal funds they’re seeking to replace the 107-year-old Maroon Creek bridge.
Also, Henderson pointed out that while Frisco and Breckenridge are in the Intermountain TPR, they also belong to CDOT Region 1 rather than Region 3, where Carbondale is.
“So what happens is their projects get ranked by the ITPR, but their funding comes from Region 1,” he said of the Frisco-to-Breckenridge project.
Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig said he was glad to hear the Carbondale project was ranked so high.
“It’s entirely to the credit of Bentley, (town manager) John Hier and the rest of the staff,” he said.
Henderson said it could take six to eight years to actually receive the funding, but that timeline could move up or down depending on the economy and other factors.
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
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