Skinny tire bikers get first shot
The Four-way Stop in Crested Butte won’t be finished but it will be open, at least temporarily, by the middle of June to help accommodate the Ride the Rockies crowd.
The intersection has been undergoing major construction since early May to realign the street and add new amenities. According to Crested Butte building and zoning director Bob Gillie, most of the underground work will be completed by the end of this week, and if you use a little imagination, you can get a feel of what the new Four-way will look like.
“We’re making substantial progress. We are getting ready to put down lots and lots of concrete over the next few weeks,” said Gillie. “We should see the curb and gutters and the sidewalks. We are starting to get a sense of how it will look when it is done.” The northwest portion of the sidewalk in front of the Troutfitter building to the Wine House is already laid.
Gillie said there were some soil issue problems with the southwest portion of the sidewalk plan in front of the Alpineer, but those should be worked out this week. “It never goes as fast as you want, but that’s true for virtually any project like this. The pedestrian access should be good to go early next week,” Gillie explained.
The planned work is the continuation of the project that started last summer and saw the installation of new streetlights, sidewalks and crosswalks along Sixth Street in Crested Butte. Crews have been busy shifting the roadway closer to the visitor’s center, moving the downhill bus drop-off to the west side of the intersection, adding two turn lanes and working on numerous sidewalk and lighting upgrades. The entire Sixth Street project has been funded with town monies and $322,000 in federal Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) funds to improve the Sixth Street corridor.
Local businesses have expressed concern that the main intersection in Crested Butte would not be open in time for the busy summer season. Town officials have said they will look at the progress of the work and make sure the Four-way is ready to go for big events like Ride the Rockies and summer. The town and contractor will meet early next week to get a better idea of the actual timeline.
“We will see how far we get into the concrete work to determine a course of action before Ride the Rockies,” Gillie continued. “We are trying very, very hard to get the intersection open as soon as possible. By next Monday we should be able to determine a final schedule of what will be open for the bikers. We are trying to work around the big events. In fact, if we open it for Ride the Rockies, we may have to shut it down again.”
Some work will likely completed later this summer or fall. “There will be some pieces of the project hanging out there. For example, the landscaping plan really won’t even be looked at until after all the roadwork is completed, so we can meet with the businesses and determine where best to place things,” Gillie says. “That will likely be sometime in the fall at the earliest.”
Ride the Rockies is scheduled to be in Crested Butte June 18-20.