Grand Elk agrees to pay cost of Granby stoplight
July 13, 2008
The future Granby stoplight at the intersection of Thompson Road and Highway 40 is estimated to cost around $400,000, causing some citizens to wonder at the expense.
Taxpayers don’t need to worry, said Granby Mayor Jynnifer Pierro. After negotiations between the Town of Granby and Grand Elk, it was agreed the town’s general fund will not be tapped for any of the expense.
A $125,000 check written to the town by Wyndham Worldwide, a timeshare development that recently broke ground in Grand Elk, is going to the cost of the light, Pierro said, and the remaining cost of the light will be the responsibility of the Grand Elk development.
Pedestrian crossings will be included to accommodate those visiting the City Market grocery store from SilverCreek, located across U.S. Highway 40.
The expense of the light stems from the type of signal required by the Colorado Department of Transportation and the materials and components used.
Becoming consistent with other Colorado regions, CDOT is now making a push in the mountain region for mast arm signals versus signals hanging by cable, according to CDOT spokesperson Nancy Shanks.
Mast arm signals require less maintenance and are considered safer due to their prominence on the highway.
“Motorists tend to notice these signals,” Shanks said.
The design is preferred over wire spans for areas with snowy and windy conditions, she said.
But mast arm construction carries a heftier price, according to Granby’s contracted Traffic Engineer Elizabeth Stolfus of Stolfus and Associates, Greenwood Village.
A concrete foundation is required for steel poles from which steel lateral pieces extend.
“Those are all major steel components fabricated and delivered to the sight,” Stolfus said.
“Steel is expensive and not all that readily available, and it’s not uncommon to have 16 weeks delivery of the mast arm.”
The steel arms and poles are trucked from where they are manufactured, greatly compounding the cost with today’s gas prices. Also, the cost of construction has increased in the past year, she said.
It’s now “more common to have traffic signals that have camera technology,” Stolfus added, although it’s not yet determined whether cameras are part of the Granby City Market installation. Cameras in modern signals notice cars waiting and coordinate lights accordingly.
The permit for the light is being reviewed by CDOT. The next step will be requesting bids for the project.
Construction of signal lights is not “weather sensitive,” Stolfus said.
“I can definitely say it’s a priority for everyone that is working on it. Grand Elk, the town and CDOT are all focused on getting the signal installed as quickly as possible,” she said.
A number of close-calls and accidents led citizens to lobby for the traffic light last summer.
Citizens gained 1,788 signatures in favor of it, and a subsequent September CDOT study found the light was indeed warranted.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at (970) 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail email@example.com.