Highway 133 improvements ramp up
With rock scaling completed and bridge work wrapping up, the Colorado Department of Transportation is on track to finish $4 million in improvements to Highway 133 by its September deadline.
In June, CDOT will move forward with the most intensive part of the project, the resurfacing of 16.5 miles of highway from Carbondale to Redstone.
The project will also enhance guardrails and install rumble strips along slightly more than 3 miles of center line — a move that has generated some controversy.
The original plan called for three sections of strips along the corridor, but did not include the location of the August 2014 accident that claimed the life of Meleyna Kistner, 21, of Naperville, Illinois. Following a request from Kistner’s family, CDOT agreed to include an extra mile of rumble strips through the accident site near mile marker 56.
Bob Krueger of Carbondale saw that as fixing one problem by creating another.
“Every time they do a road project, it’s like they never take single-track vehicles into account,” he said. “If you hit a rumble strip with a car, it makes a lot of noise. With a motorcycle, no matter how you hit it, it’s gonna make you unstable.”
CDOT regional communications manager Tracy Trulove investigated, and came across a Minnesota Department of Transportation study that found no correlation between rumble strips and motorcycle accidents.
“They’ve proven to be good for distracted driving by catching people’s attention and helping them stay on track,” she said. “CDOT is in the business of building and constructing roadways that are functional and safe.”
As things stand, the project will go forward as planned.
Drivers can expect short delays throughout resurfacing, with lane closures, reduced speed through works zones and restrictions on vehicles wider than 12 feet. Advance warning will be provided for several full closures of up to five hours, which will be required for blasting.
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Rick Holt, chief academic officer for the Roaring Fork School District and a former Carbondale Middle School principal, will be leaving to become superintendent of schools in the Archuleta County School District.