2 propositions on the ballot could fund Fraser Highway 40 improvement project
A proposed Colorado Department of Transportation project would make improvements to a section of Highway 40 running through Fraser and Winter Park.
The project, part of CDOT’s 10 year development plan, would widen the Highway 40 corridor from Winter Park to Fraser, improve water drainage and make adjustments to two intersections in Fraser, including the potential to replace a signaled intersection with a roundabout.
The project would be on the stretch of Highway 40 from the East Grand Fire Protection station to Eisenhower Drive. One of the intersections identified by the project for improvement, including a potential roundabout, would be Highway 40 and County Road 72.
“The reason being traffic signals (…) do cause accidents and they cause injury-accidents, whereas roundabouts when there are accidents, they’re minor and they’re not typically injury-accidents,” said Fraser town manager Jeff Durbin.
The project has yet to be designed, but preliminary conversations between CDOT and the Town of Fraser have taken place.
“Typically, these projects have been identified in our long-term planning and without any way of really making them happen because we don’t have the funding, but when we have certain funding come available we might get a certain level of design done,” said CDOT Region 3 communications manager Tracy Trulove.
This project is estimated to cost $13.6 million. Currently, the project is mostly unfunded, but Trulove said they had identified funds for the design of the project.
Construction would likely only occur with the passing of Proposition 109, which dedicates existing general funds to highways, or Proposition 110, which raises the state sales tax by .62 percent for highways, transit and city and county transportation needs.
According to CDOT, the project would improve mobility on a heavily trafficked portion of the highway, which is only expected to be used more as development in Fraser and Winter Park continues.
CDOT highlighted this project as a priority because of the regional significance of the corridor, which provides access to Rocky Mountain National Park, Winter Park Resort and other recreational and tourism opportunities.
Trulove said the next step will be to survey the area in the spring.
“This is a project that hasn’t even been designed yet, so there’s still a lot more conversations that would happen around that,” Trulove said. “We’re starting from the bottom up and we just don’t know what’s going to happen until the election cycle completes.”
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