Park-N-Ride Nears Completion
The Town of Estes Park and its contractor, Coulson Excavating, will make surface improvements to Manford Ave. beginning May 31 as part of the Town’s Streets Improvement Program. The improved roadway will serve as the entrance to the new Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride. Coulson Excavating is now scheduled to complete the Park-n-Ride approximately June 7 after weather delayed paving operations. No events at the Fairgrounds will be adversely affected by the delay; the Farmers Market on June 2 will take place as scheduled in a completed portion of the lot.
Weather permitting, from May 31 through June 7, the contractor will overlay asphalt on Manford Ave. from east of Community Drive to Highway 7. One-way traffic on Manford Ave. will be maintained at all times. Traffic control on Highway 7 at Manford Ave. will help to control and direct one-way traffic onto Manford Ave. Access to Manford Ave. businesses will be maintained throughout the project. Motorists are asked to drive carefully and watch for construction signage. Manford Ave. was identified as a high priority for rehabilitation in the Town’s 2010 inventory of road conditions.
Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride Background
The completed Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride will consist of 408 paved parking spaces stretching from the Estes Park Senior Center on Fourth Street to the grandstand facility off of Manford Avenue. The lot will be a new shuttle stop for the Town’s summer shuttle system when it begins running June 25. It will also continue to serve as event parking.
The Town received three grants totaling $1,158,750 for the transit hub project, which is intended to reduce traffic congestion in downtown Estes Park while improving air quality. Town Administrator Jacquie Halburnt noted the convenience of the lot for visitors, saying, “Signage along U.S. 36 will encourage visitors to park at the Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride and hop on a shuttle connecting to the Estes Park Visitor Center and 40 stops around Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.” She explained that while the Town expects the lot to take a few years to gain popularity, there should be some reduction in traffic congestion right away.
Matching the grant funding, the Town will pay $250,000 toward the project from the Community Reinvestment Fund. Last August, the Town announced its receipt of two of the grants — totaling $913,000 — awarded through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program by the Upper Front Range Regional Planning Commission. The committee oversees long-range transportation planning for its region, mostly the rural areas of Larimer, Morgan and Weld counties. The CMAQ program, jointly administered by the Federal Highway and Federal Transit Administrations, provides grant funding to State Departments of Transportation and transit agencies to invest in projects that reduce criteria air pollutants regulated from transportation-related sources.
A third grant for $245,750 was awarded in January by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) through Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery (FASTER). FASTER funds are distributed by CDOT to be used for construction, reconstruction and maintenance projects that the Transportation Commission, a county or municipality determine are needed to enhance the safety of a state highway, county road or city street.
The concept for a transportation hub at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park was initiated after the Town commissioned two comprehensive transportation and parking studies in 2003 and 2005. The studies recommend a transit system to shuttle visitors from the Fairgrounds to downtown in order to assist with consistently high seasonal traffic. The transit hub is also a recommended improvement to support the events at fairgrounds as stated in the Stanley Park Master Plan.
For more information on the transit hub project, please contact the Town of Estes Park Public Works Department at 970-577-3588. A photo gallery of the project may be viewed at www.estes.org/publicworks/TransitHubConstruction.htm. To receive Town news and/or meeting agendas in your e-mail inbox, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.