Consultants hired to start public process
[ by Mark Reaman ]
Gunnison County is preparing for a major project in the future that would reconstruct the intersection of Highway 135 and Brush Creek Road. County commissioners gave the okay Tuesday, August 17, to sign an $83,700 contract with traffic consulting firm Mead and Hunt out of Denver that has already installed traffic counting devices at the intersection.
Gunnison County public works director Marlene Crosby told the commissioners the traffic counts would not just document current data but also project traffic counts through 2042. From there, the firm will be asked to come up with several design alternatives to reconstruct the intersection. It is expected they will take into consideration potential affordable housing projects located on both sides of the highway.
Public open houses and meetings will be scheduled to help engage the public. Crosby said those have not yet been scheduled but she asked the commissioners to begin considering possible dates and the first meeting will likely be this fall. The consultants will be expected to present design alternatives and then take public comment and concerns over the project.
“For many years we have struggled with maintenance on the Brush Creek Intersection, particularly during the winter when it is icy,” Crosby explained. “The increased build-out in Skyland and Buckhorn have made the situation worse. Over the years we have had a couple of engineers look at a minor overhaul of the existing intersection, but the grade at the intersection and blowing snow in the winter have prevented us from finding a suitable solution.”
Crosby said the final report, based on traffic projections, public feedback, safety and environmental concerns with possible design alternatives will be presented to the county by the end of next January. The project outcomes will then be forwarded to CDOT for final design and future funding. Given the funding need, the project is not expected to happen anytime soon.