Intersection design green light due ’roundabout December |

Intersection design green light due ’roundabout December

Greg Masse
Post Independent Staff

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A December decision is expected for changes to the 8th Street and Midland Avenue intersection, city engineer Larry Thompson said Thursday.

Either a signal or a roundabout is needed at the three-way intersection to accommodate the increased traffic flow to and from the Glenwood Meadows commercial development, which is slated to start construction next spring.

But it remains to be seen if the final design decision will be made by Thompson or if it will be referred to City Council.

“I know we left that unclear at the meeting,” Thompson said, referring to a Nov. 10 neighborhood meeting on the topic.

Even if a decision on the intersection is made by Thompson ” who is authorized by the Glenwood Meadows annexation and development agreement to make such a determination ” he figures there’s a good chance the topic will find its way to City Council because:

– If his decision doesn’t rest well with neighbors, they’ll probably request that it go to council.

– If the Glenwood Meadows developers don’t like his decision, they’ll likely request that it be brought before council.

Also, according to city manager Mike Copp, if Thompson’s decision goes “over and above what was expected,” council would most likely be tapped to make the decision.

As usual, money could become a large factor in the final design.

Options on the table include:

– Installation of a traffic signal with heated pavement at the 8th Street grade, but little other grading work: $600,000.

– Installation of a traffic light along with flattening approaches to the intersection and substantial infrastructure relocation: $1.8 million.

– Roundabout with no light, also with substantial infrastructure relocation: $2.1 million.

– Getting traffic to move smoothly through the intersection from all directions: priceless.

Glenwood Meadows is responsible for paying for an intersection upgrade, but additional costs for a more expensive version may come at the city’s expense.

Mike Maple, chief operating officer for Glenwood Meadows management company Dunrene, said the question isn’t so much what his company would like to do, but what it is required to do.

“We believe we need to deal with the impacts created by Meadows,” he said. “We believe signalizing that intersection will satisfy our requirements.”

More specifically, Maple said Dunrene is in favor of the first alternative, which would provide a heated street surface on the hill at the west end of 8th Street and a traffic signal ” the $600,000 option.

Maple added, “We’re happy to work with the city on any of these alternatives. We believe that any of these will improve the traffic in this area.”

Jeanne Golay was among the neighborhood residents who attended Monday’s meeting. She favors a roundabout intersection for several reasons.

“It’s good for traffic calming. I think it’s important to efficiently move traffic off Midland and into downtown,” she said.

Golay also said a roundabout would make an aesthetically pleasing entrance to downtown and would lessen noise and pollution that could be worse if a traffic light is installed.

“The noise and air pollution of cars stopping, idling, then accelerating would be too much,” she said. “I know that it’s expensive and Meadows wants to get it done, but I think you should do it right the first time.”

Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511

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