The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced plans to begin U.S. Highway 285 improvements during the spring of 2021.
Portions of that project – primarily the removal of the traffic light at U.S. Highway 285 and Park County Road 43A – has been the subject of heated local debate and has prompted numerous town hall-style meetings and spirited public protests from local citizens and business owners in opposition to the plan.
Controversial as the plan might be, however, CDOT has seemingly determined its course of action and has conveyed as much in the following press release dated Nov. 9. The press release appears in its entirety, just as presented by CDOT:
November 9, 2020
U.S. Highway 285 project update from CDOT
Safety Improvements to U.S. 285 near the town of Bailey will be moving forward in 2021 to address traffic congestion and crashes due to the increase in motorists that travel the corridor. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and project team worked closely with local government officials and held public input meetings. Based on input and feedback, various alternatives were analyzed. After careful consideration CDOT will progress with the following additions to the project:
An acceleration lane at CR 64 in Bailey (near the lumber yard and post office)
CDOT donating way finding signs for county roads
The U.S. 285 Safety Improvements Project is intended to make the route safer for the traveling public, reduce risk for local residents, improve flow through the area, and reduce crashes.
Section A: Northbound U.S. 285 through the town of Bailey
Section B: Northbound/southbound U.S. 285 between the interchange at Park County Road 72 and Rosalie Road, approximately one mile
Safer and more efficient routes as a result of the removal of the traffic signal at U.S. 285 and CR 43A
Decreasing possible crash locations at the intersection of U.S. 285 and CR 43A
Free right turns at CR 43A allows for improved traffic flow
Increase acceleration lane length to design standard at the interchange of U.S. 285 and CR 72
Reduce crossover crashes by installation of median barrier
Reduce the potential for rear end crashes by the removal of the traffic signal at CR 43A
Decrease travel speed through Bailey
Provide deceleration lanes in Bailey
Provides safer access points to businesses in Bailey
Removal of the traffic signal at CR 43A allows traffic on U.S. 285 to flow through the area removing the traffic backups currently occurring
Contractor Hired – Winter 2021
Construction Start – Spring 2021
Construction Completion – Fall 2021
All work will be completed in one construction season.