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Roundabout turns corner

The Four Mile-Midland roundabout project cleared a hurdle toward construction in 2004 Monday, when officials with three local governments agreed in principle on a major component for a drainage plan.

“This is the key to it,” said Garfield County manager Ed Green, following a roundabout site tour Monday with representatives from the county, Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District.

The key is a detention pond site agreed to by the representatives. It straddles Glenwood Springs and school district property at the northeast corner of the intersection, generally in the spot where the school district formerly had an irrigation pond.



“Now, we can address creating a drainage system,” Green said.

The governments also formed a project team that will meet monthly to discuss construction issues.



“We all have the best interests of the people we serve at heart,” said Glenwood Springs City Councilman Rick Davis.

Glenwood Springs city manager Mike Copp called off construction on the $428,000 roundabout in June, after school district officials said they wanted Four Mile drainage problems fixed as part of the project.

Sopris Elementary School sits directly east of the roundabout, which would encroach on a half-acre of school district property.

Two homes at the bottom of Four Mile Road flooded in a thunderstorm in 2001 due to drainage problems farther up Four Mile Road in unincorporated Garfield County.

Green said the county commissioners have already committed to spending approximately $400,000 to fix the drainage problem through the intersection next year.

“I think that’s enough,” Green said.

Monday’s tour was the first time elected officials and staffers from all three governments walked the roundabout site together. To start the tour, Davis told the group they were there “to make a plan to make a plan.”

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has said it wants a detention pond as part of the drainage plan to trap water and allow sediments to settle out before the runoff flows into nearby Three Mile Creek.

At Monday’s meeting, attention quickly turned to the site of the former irrigation pond at the intersection that could also serve as a detention pond. The city’s original agreement with the school district called for the irrigation pond to be covered up and landscaped.

Garfield County engineer Jeff Nelson told the group the county is designing the drainage system to handle a 100-year flood.


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