Garfield County to lead planning for work on Cattle Creek intersection
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County will take the lead in efforts to improve the busy intersection at State Highway 82 and Cattle Creek Road between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, even though a major developer in the area has agreed to pay for the work.
Last December, the Garfield Board of County Commissioners approved plans by Carbondale Investments LCC for the 366-unit River Edge residential development.
The project is to be built on 160 acres on the west side of Highway 82, with a main access off of the highway across from the Cattle Creek intersection.
During the review process, the developer offered to fund and construct improvements on both sides of the highway.
Commissioners agreed to draft a formal memorandum of understanding with Carbondale Investments detailing which entity would be responsible for what, and to outline a time frame for the work.
Colorado Department of Transportation officials have indicated that it will not award an access permit for River Edge unless the much-needed improvements to the east side of the intersection are done at the same time.
The intersection includes two county roads, 110 and 113 (Cattle Creek), a frontage road serving businesses on both sides of the intersection, and several private driveways. It has been identified as a top priority by the county for safety improvements for more than a decade, Commissioner John Martin said during a meeting with the River Edge developers at Monday’s regular meeting.
“I’ve been working since 1997 to get this intersection taken care of, and it hasn’t happened yet,” Martin said.
One issue is that the property across the highway has changed hands several times and gone through numerous development proposals before the most recent one was approved.
Martin said the county already has a lot of money and time invested in developing a conceptual plan for the improvements. It makes sense for the county to continue to take the lead, he said.
But representatives for the developer said they would prefer to take charge on the project.
One reason is CDOT’s desire that the River Edge access and the other intersection improvements take place at the same time, said Wayne Foreman, land-use attorney for property owner Rockwood Shepherd.
“We were also given a three-year window to proceed to final plat,” Foreman said. “By taking the lead, we can coordinate the timing [of the intersection improvements] with the access issues. If we can be in the driver’s seat, we’re better able to manage the timing of it.”
But the county would like to proceed even sooner than three years, Martin and the other commissioners said.
“This is the No. 1 intersection in the county as far as needing improvements,” Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said. “There is a desire on our part to move forward now.”
The county agreed to continue working closely with the developer to coordinate the timing for the dual projects, and to set up a payment or reimbursement schedule.
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