A light to ease congestion | PostIndependent.com

A light to ease congestion

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

A traffic signal intended to ease congestion for eastbound traffic at Interstate 70 Exit 116 at Glenwood Springs is expected be complete next week. “They’re expecting to be able to get it up and operating by Wednesday or Thursday of next week,” said Pete Mertes, a resident engineer for the Colorado Department of Transportation. The traffic signal with a green light cycle should get traffic flowing better than the current stop sign, and officials hope the signal will eliminate commuter backups, Mertes said. Current traffic congestion can stretch a considerable distance down I-70 in the morning.

There will be one pole with two signal arms. One arm will signal the eastbound exiting lane, and the other arm will provide signals for traffic leaving Glenwood and heading onto the I-70 eastbound lanes. The signal cost about $175,000, Mertes said.It will be controlled by timers rather than sensors. After construction, crews may be posted during peak hours to observe traffic and optimize signal timing.The two arms will also mean cars leaving Glenwood to head east will now have to stop for red lights. But, Mertes said, “That should be far less of a problem than the existing problem we have out there.”CDOT is also about 30 to 50 percent done with designs for nearby projects. The agency is studying double right turn lanes for cars heading east on Sixth Street and turning south onto the Grand Avenue bridge. Also in the works are double right turn lanes heading onto the westbound on-ramp of I-70.

Mertes estimated CDOT might begin work on those projects next spring at the earliest, if funding becomes available.If funding doesn’t come through at that time, “it’s anybody’s guess, but at least we’ll be ready with the plans and design to proceed rather quickly into a construction project,” he said.

Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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