State highway officials are using traffic safety funds to combat the high number of rear-end collisions on Colorado 83 between Parker and Franktown.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is in the final stages of a construction project that will add a southbound left-turn lane to provide safer access for large trucks entering two maintenance yards near Lost Lake Drive. Crews will also widen the shoulders and repave the roadway.
On-site work has been delayed until after the New Year but will resume when a contractor paves the road Jan. 7-9, said Dole Grebenik, resident engineer for CDOT’s Region 1. Colorado 83 will be down to one lane from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on those days. The timeline for completion of the project depends on weather, but it is tentatively slated for mid-January, weeks ahead of schedule.
The majority of the funding — more than $450,000 — is coming from FASTER, or Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery. The remaining $100,000 is being paid by the Douglas County School District, which owns and regularly uses one of the maintenance yards. The school district had been independently seeking a solution to the access problem and later partnered with CDOT.
Grebenik did not have accident figures, but he said the project was able to “easily qualify” for the safety funds because of the danger.
“When our vehicles and Douglas County’s (School District) vehicles are heading south, to make a left turn they back up traffic for several hundred feet,” he said.
A dedicated left-turn lane will enable the trucks to wait for a clearing without impeding the flow of traffic or causing rear-end crashes. CDOT officials are hoping for “measureable improvement,” but there was no estimate on the projected reduction of accidents due to the fix, Grebenik said.
FASTER money is used to improve mobility and reconfigure hazardous intersections and limited sight distances.