Carbondale garners $1.1 million for Highway 133 |

Carbondale garners $1.1 million for Highway 133

John Stroud
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – Town of Carbondale officials were recently successful in lobbying the Colorado Department of Transportation for an additional $1.1 million to design and make improvements to State Highway 133 through the north end of town.

Carbondale Public Works Director Larry Ballenger and town trustee John Hoffmann attended the December Intermountain Region Planning Commission meeting to make the case for additional funding.

According to town manager Tom Baker, CDOT engineer Joe Elsen had determined that another $1.1 to $1.5 million would be needed to do the planned work.

The extra state funds were approved after the town agreed to bring another $500,000 to the table.

The town’s share is already in a dedicated Highway 133 fund set up by the town about 10 years ago, which devotes a small percentage of local sales tax revenues for improvements along the highway corridor as it runs through Carbondale.

“Based on Joe’s analysis, the town’s ability to bring matching funds to the project bumped us up to the top of the list for additional funding,” Baker said.

CDOT had previously committed between $400,000 and $500,000 for planning and design, and close to $4 million for construction.

The work will eventually entail widening to three lanes, including a dedicated turn lane, the section of Highway 133 from the bridge leading into to town to the Main Street intersection.

Potential real estate developments that are proposed along Highway 133, including the Village at Crystal River mixed-used project, would also generate additional money to complete the work.

The Village project proposes a 1.5 percent public improvement fee, or PIF, to be included on retail sales within the development, including at a new grocery store, to help pay for highway and other public improvements. Among the proposed improvements would be a roundabout at the intersection of Nieslanik Way, which is to serve as the main entrance into the new development. A second roundabout is also proposed at Industry Place.

In addition, the town is also partnering with CDOT to develop an access control plan along Highway 133. Each entity has committed $40,000 to do the plan, which will seek to control the number of curb cut/accesses onto and off of Highway 133.

Two years ago, CDOT completed construction of a new four-lane bridge across the Roaring Fork River at the Highway 133/82 intersection, replacing the former two-lane bridge.

The town and CDOT are also beginning the process to do an analysis of needed improvements along Highway 133 south of Main Street as well.

Intersections at Hendrick Drive and Snowmass Drive along Highway 133 through the south part of town have already been identified as “problematic intersections,” according to Ballenger’s December Public Works Department report.

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