Monday, March 20, 2017

US34 set to re-open before Memorial Day weekend

US 34 in Drake. Image credit: Google Maps

CDOT is currently upgrading US34 through Thompson Canyon. Contractors blasting rock finished their portion of the project earlier than planned, allowing CDOT to begin work on bridge construction at the Horsehoe curve. This means the road is still on track to open before Memorial Day as originally scheduled. Traffic has been limited since October. After it reopens, US34 should remain open for summer travel. CDOT will announce future phases of construction at a later date.

For more information, read the article on the Coloradoan.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Northern Colorado growing quicker than transportation projects built

Congestion on a highway. Image credit: Flickr

Larimer and Weld counties are among the fastest growing in Colorado, meaning a greater demand on the transportation system. CDOT has a long term plan to expand I-25, but due to funding shortfalls, the plan will not be completed until 2075. Some I-25 projects have been moved up for the NFRMPO region due to funding from local communities; however, if population continues to grow as it is expected to, the region will add more than 500,000 new residents by 2040. Three projects aimed to help congestion on I-25 include:
  • Installation of traffic signals on on-ramps (Harmony Road and SH392/Carpenter Road)
  • New bridge at Crossroads Boulevard
  • Berthoud Climbing Lane
Alternatives to driving a single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) to the Denver metro region include:
More information about the demographic and congestion discussion is available at the Coloradoan.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Larimer County commits $1 million to Loveland's 402 interchange

I-25 SH 402 Bridge      Image Credit: CDOT
Larimer County will contribute $1 million to reconstruct the State Highway 402 interchange at I-25. County Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday, March 14 to approve the additional funding for the interchange, which is part of the I-25 Expansion project.

In addition to Larimer County, other communities are contributing to the 402 interchange reconstruction, including $6 million from the City of Loveland and $500,000 from Weld County. The Town of Johnstown will consider a $6 million contribution at their March 20 Common Council meeting.

With the addition of the Prospect Road interchange and the 402 interchange, the total cost of the I-25 expansion project increased from $237 million to $295 million.

For additional information, read the article in the Reporter-Herald.

Shields Street closure extended to April 3

Shields and Elizabeth from Google Maps.

As mentioned in the Shields Street closed south of Elizabeth Street, Feb. 25-March 19 blog post, the intersection of Shields Street and Elizabeth Street is closed due to construction of a pedestrian and bicycle underpass. Due to the construction crew finding a third-party utility line, the closure will last for two weeks longer. It is now expected to open April 3.

For more information, read the article on the Coloradoan.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Fort Collins area I-25 ramps to get traffic control lights

Ramp meter in Thornton. Image credit: Google Maps

Traffic along I-25 is a constant conversation in Northern Colorado. CDOT is hoping to help ease traffic during rush hours by building traffic signals at the Harmony Road and SH392 exits. Construction begins Monday, March 13. These traffic signals would control the flow of cars entering the highway. The total cost for the ramps is expected to be around $440,000. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-May. According to data from ramp meters in Denver, the average speed in nearby sections of I-25 increased 8.6 miles per hour.

For more information, read the article on the Coloradoan. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

RAQC to host Mow Down Pollution event in Loveland on April 29

Mow Down Pollution event logo. Image credit: RAQC

The Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) is hosting the annual Mow Down Pollution event at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland on April 29. At the Mow Down Pollution event, residents can exchange their gas-powered lawn mowers and replace them with new electric lawn mowers.  There will be two lawn mowers for sale. Residents can save $50 on both models by trading in their current lawn mower.
Switching from gas-powered to electric lawn mowers makes an impact on the region’s air quality. According to RAQC, nearly 10 percent of the Denver area’s ozone pre-cursor emissions came from gas-powered lawn mowers and lawn equipment. At the Mow Down Pollution event in 2016, 334 old gasoline mowers were recycled. These replacements led to a reduction of 45,336 pounds of pollutants reduced.
In addition to the event at the Budweiser Events Center, RAQC is holding additional events at Dick’s Sporting Good Park in Commerce City on May 6 and at Eco-Cycle CHaRM: Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials in Boulder on June 3.
To sign up, visit Questions may be sent to Matt Goble, or (303) 629-5450, ext. 280.

Monday, March 6, 2017

CO Senate approves Chief commission renewal and expansion

Southwest Chief in Albuquerque. Image credit: Flickr

Currently, the Southwest Chief Commission advocates for improved service on Amtrak's Southwest Chief route through southeast Colorado. On February 23, the Colorado Senate passed a bill which would continue the Southwest Chief Commission's efforts to improve the Amtrak Southwest Chief line, expand its service to Pueblo, and investigate adding service to Walsenburg. Additionally, the new group would facilitate the development of Front Range Passenger Rail. The bill moves to the Colorado House of Representatives next.

For more information, download the Colorado Rail Passenger Association's March newsletter.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Shields Street closed south of Elizabeth Street, Feb. 25-March 19

Shields Street and Elizabeth Street   Image Credit: Google Maps 
Shields Street south of Elizabeth Street is closed to traffic in both directions until March 19 for the construction of a bicycle and pedestrian underpass. The closure began on Saturday, February 25. The Shields Street and Elizabeth Street intersection will remain open, as will the Moby parking lot. The recommended detour routes for vehicles include Mulberry Street, College Avenue, Prospect Road, and Taft Hill Road.

The underpass project is scheduled to be completed in August 2017, and one lane closures are expected between March 19 and August.

For additional information, see the City of Fort Collins' Press Release.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Electric Vehicles’ Slow Merge Into the Fast Lane

Charger for Chevy Volt. Image credit: Flickr

Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) are a key plan to improve air quality in many parts of the country. ZEVs, electric cars specifically, are seen as an alternative to the gasoline and diesel vehicles common today. A major impediment to further adoption is the lack of public infrastructure to allow ZEV drivers to charge their vehicles. Gas stations are ubiquitous in the United States, which makes it harder for many people to skew away from using gas-powered vehicles. In California, this theory is being used to explain why adoption of ZEVs is not hitting the marks government officials expected.

For more information about this discussion, read the article at Governing.

Monday, February 13, 2017

To Reduce Traffic, Build Homes Closer to Daily Destinations

Traffic Congestion in Denver. Image credit: Flickr
William Fulton, Governing Columnist, contends that investment in well-located housing is a low-cost way to curb automobile vehicle miles traveled (VMT). If residents live in close proximity to the places they need to go each day, they will drive less, reducing the need for costly road expansion. Housing development near denser urban or suburban job centers can make shifting away from the personal automobile more appealing, but those who continue to drive will have fewer miles between them and their daily destinations. A study in the San Francisco Bay Area demonstrated that people in Berkeley and Oakland drive half as far as people in the outer suburbs because the places they need to go are closer together, not because they used transit more. 

Read more from Governing.