Town Tentatively To Receive $13 Million Federal Grant For Downtown Road Realignment
Second grant must be funded for project to proceed
The Town of Estes Park has tentatively received a grant through the Federal Lands Access Program to fund major transit and highway improvements. The Town will receive the $13 million grant if it is also granted $5 million in funds from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). The Town expects to learn whether or not it will receive the second grant in October, 2013. If both grants are received, the Town and its partners at the Federal Highway Administration and CDOT will establish a plan for the project, proceed with contacting affected property owners, and then embark on an extensive public input process and environmental impact study. After these studies are complete, the new road could be built in 2016.
After extensive public outreach in March including invitations to property owners adjacent to the potential project, the Town Board voted to proceed with a grant application to realign traffic with a new one-way couplet. The realignment will convert Elkhorn Avenue from East Riverside Drive to Moraine Avenue, and Moraine Avenue south of Elkhorn Avenue to West Riverside Drive, into one-way thoroughfares for westbound traffic. Moraine Avenue will then revert to two-way traffic going west from the intersection. In addition, a new one-way road for eastbound traffic will be constructed along a route similar to West Riverside Drive as it travels from Moraine Avenue to East Riverside Drive near Ivy Street, continuing to Elkhorn Avenue. At Elkhorn Avenue, east-bound traffic will become two-way again.
The reroute will increase mobility, support the economy by providing better access to businesses, reduce traffic congestion frustrations and improve air quality and the overall safety of our residents and guests.
Traffic engineers estimate the couplet will increase capacity by approximately 40 percent, significantly reducing traffic congestion.
As Town Administrator Frank Lancaster noted, “We’re excited about the impact of this potential project, and as we continue to improve transportation in Estes Park, we want to keep you informed and gather your feedback.” He continued, “We feel this project will ultimately accommodate the millions of visitors we see each summer, while benefitting the residents and businesses of Estes Park.” The potential grant-funded project was recommended by several transportation studies to improve traffic flow and access to Rocky Mountain National Park.
For more information, please contact the Town Public Information Office at 970-577-3701.