Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride Will Be A New Stop For Town’s Free Summer Shuttles
Transit hub construction on schedule for May 27 completion
The Town of Estes Park and its contractor, Coulson Excavating, are on schedule to complete construction of the transit hub at the Fairgrounds at Stanley Park by May 27. The completed lot 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 hub, which will be called the “Fairgrounds Park-n-Ride,” 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.
While the new transit hub will accommodate about the same number of vehicles as the unimproved parking area, Town Administrator Jacquie Halburnt described the additional benefits of improving the area. “The project will reduce dust in the area and improve drainage and increase security with programmable lighting which will accommodate the needs of nearby residents,” she said.
Currently, construction at the hub involves the installation of sidewalks, curbs, retaining walls and foundations for the lighting. As part of the comprehensive drainage system, the contractor is also installing storm sewers to connect to the storm water detention pond, located north of the arena. Preparation of the parking lot base is underway, and asphalt paving will begin around early May. The foundation is complete for the Manford Avenue bus shelter, which will be framed in the coming weeks. Approximately 100 trees, both evergreen and deciduous, are being planted around the lot to beautify the area.
Traffic control along Fourth Street allows two-way traffic and will remain in place until the contractor completes the installation of curb and gutter at the transit hub exit. This portion of the project is expected to be complete by mid-May.
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 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.