Council approves New Castle intersection improvements
Citizen Telegram Contributor
NEW CASTLE — Pedestrian safety was first and foremost on the mind of Town Council on May 19, when it unanimously approved a package of improvements to the intersection of Highway 6 and Castle Valley Boulevard.
The addition of speed radar at the intersection in 2013 has significantly reduced the number of motor vehicle accidents at the site. However, during council’s meeting March 3, fourth-graders from Kathryn Senor Elementary School expressed concern for students’ safety while crossing Highway 6 on their way home from school.
Councilman Frank Breslin made a motion that included new crosswalk striping and two handicap ramps, as well as an $1,100 allotment for planter repair. The town did not budget the $20,000 worth of improvements in its 2015 budget.
In January, the town received permission for the improvements from the Colorado Department of Transportation. But as Town Administrator Tom Baker told council, “They aren’t offering any money.” Council’s hope is that an end-of-year savings in the street improvement budget will provide the windfall necessary to fund the project. In the meantime, the town plans on using general fund reserves to cover the cost of the improvements.
When the proposed improvements are completed, Baker suggested council send a letter to CDOT requesting “half reimbursement.”
“If we ask (CDOT) for funding, we won’t hear (back) this year,” Baker said.
The motion to improve the intersection passed unanimously. Work is set to begin this summer.
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The Garfield County coroner has identified the pedestrian who was killed in a one-vehicle crash on Highway 6 in Rifle Wednesday morning.