Montrose, CO — City Councilors met for a work session Tuesday morning, September 6, to hear about construction plans for a new traffic signal at the intersection of Chipeta Road and U.S. Hwy 550, the results of a traffic study of West Main Street, and a proposed “Dinner on Main Street” event.
The work session was moved from Monday to Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday.
Councilors Barbara Bynum, Dave Frank, David Reed, and Ed Ulibarri met in City Council Chambers along with city staff. Councilor Doug Glaspell was absent.
The following is a summary of the primary topics discussed during the meeting.
Watch the meeting here.
CHIPETA SIGNALIZATION PROJECT CONSTRUCTION
City Councilors were briefed about a project to increase safety at the intersection of Chipeta Road and U.S. Hwy 550 by adding a traffic signal.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said Montrose County and the City of Montrose entered into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in April 2021 to design and construct a traffic signal at the intersection of Chipeta Road and U. S. Highway 550. Through this IGA, the cost for design and construction of the signal will be split with 60% paid for by the county, and 40% by the City of Montrose. This project is in response to increased traffic volumes that have been building over the years at the intersection, recently reaching a level that meets signal warrant trigger levels.
Primary stakeholders for this project include the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as the owner of the Highway 550 right of way, Montrose County as the owner of the Chipeta Road right of way, and the City of Montrose as a contributor of traffic to the intersection. Montrose County will serve as the project and contracting lead for the project. CDOT has served as the primary permitting agency.
In 2019, CDOT completed an updated access control plan for this reach of Highway 550, which included plans for the eventual signalization of its intersection with Chipeta Road. Reports and data from this access control plan are available for download at www.tinyurl.com/US550ACP. In 2020, a traffic impact study (TIS) was completed for a proposed development alongside Chipeta Road near the Cobble Creek golf course. This TIS included evaluations of the Chipeta/550 intersection and a review of collision data and concluded that signal warrants appear to have been met. Reports from this TIS are available for download at www.tinyurl.com/ChipetaTIS.
Montrose County, in partnership with the City of Montrose, selected HDR Engineering to perform the signal design through a competitive procurement process in May 2021. The design is complete and has been approved by CDOT.
Montrose County staff recommended award to the low bidder, Mountain Valley Contracting, and the Montrose County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the contract at their August 17, 2022, meeting.
Pending any supply chain issues, the contractor is targeting completion of the signal project before the end of 2022. If signal arms or control equipment are delayed, completion may extend as late as the second quarter of 2023. When work is taking place, motorists can expect isolated shoulder or lane shifts at the intersection. No road closures are anticipated for the work.
Contract Administration and Project Financials
Contract administration and project management will be performed by the Montrose County. As outlined in the IGA, costs for the project will be split 60/40 between the County and City, resulting in a maximum anticipated expenditure of $358,409 for the city. Because the project may span two years, both the city’s 2022 and 2023 budgets include line items for this expenditure. The anticipated project costs are considerably lower than the initial $2M price cap included in the IGA.
WEST MAIN REVITALIZATION TRAFFIC STUDY RESULTS AND PUBLIC OUTREACH
City Councilors were briefed about a recent traffic study performed on West Main Street that is part of a larger project focused on Montrose’s West Main Street corridor.
In August 2021, the City of Montrose was selected to receive $2 million in funds from the Colorado Department of Transportation, CDOT, to improve the safety, mobility, and economic development of the West Main Street corridor.
The focus area spans from downtown Montrose west along Main Street to the West Main Trailhead at the Uncompahgre River. This project, entitled West Main Complete Streets, aims to create a safe corridor between the city's downtown business district and the Uncompahgre River, which is viewed as vital in terms of connecting downtown and the recreational areas and the growing residential neighborhoods of west Montrose.
Improvements to the West Main Street corridor will include roadway conversion, ADA-compliant sidewalks, and new bike lanes in both directions for the full length of the project area to enhance a much-needed connection for the residents of West Montrose. The final design for the improvements will be developed through a public process and in coordination with CDOT, based on traffic studies and data collected throughout the West Main Street corridor.
Murphy said traffic congestion is impacted by intersections that are located along a roadway. The traffic study will have impacts on the width of bike lanes, sidewalks, and traffic lanes throughout the West Main corridor during the design phase of the project, which is already underway.
City staff began working with local residents and consultants in the summer of 2020 to create a detailed vision of improvements to the West Main Street corridor. From those meetings, a clear conclusion was reached that there is a need for safe bike and pedestrian connections between the Uncompahgre River and downtown.
In the city’s grant application, it was stated that the project will add an exciting and necessary connection to a variety of Montrose neighborhoods and will improve the quality of life for a very diverse group of Montrose residents.
In 2012, a report titled “Montrose Downtown Plan of Development” highlighted these concerns and labeled the area a "priority for revitalization."
Furthermore, the city's "Envision 2040" Comprehensive Plan, completed in 2020, underscored the need to prioritize multi-modal improvements along this corridor.
SPECIAL EVENTS ALCOHOL PERMIT FOR DINNER ON MAIN EVENT
City Councilors were briefed about a proposed special events alcohol permit for the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club to serve alcohol at Habitat for Humanity’s Dinner on Main event on September 24, 2022, as a fundraiser.
City Clerk Lisa DelPiccolo said Main Street will be closed from Uncompahgre Avenue to Park Avenue for this event.
The Municipal Code and Regulations Manual require City Council approval for Special Events Permits issued in conjunction with a street closure. The alcohol permit application is attached and includes a premises map. The premises were posted in compliance with state statutes.
City Engineer Scott Murphy said CDOT is nearing completion of street work on Townsend Avenue. Street markings and other small jobs still need to be completed.
All City Council meetings are recorded and made available online via the city’s website and cable channels 191 for Charter subscribers and 970 for Elevate subscribers. Replays of council meetings are also broadcast at 6 p.m. on the same channels on days that the council is not in session.
In addition, each regular meeting is archived on the City of Montrose’s YouTube channel.
Residents can watch all regular City Council meetings and work sessions live and on-demand through the city’s Public Meetings Portal.
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