US 287 to Laporte project has a new look, added features
LARIMER COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation recently unwrapped its belated gift to the state for Colorado Day with a unique concrete design for the center of what is the largest roundabout on the state highway system on US 287 to Laporte.
The 228-foot diameter roundabout is the centerpiece of a three-year project to make the entire stretch from CO 1 to Laporte feature two 12-foot traffic lanes in each direction along with a center turn lane. Each side will also have a 10-foot wide concrete shoulder/bike lane and minimum 5-foot wide sidewalk. The previous roadway was two-lane asphalt.
When it came time to address the center of the large roundabout, CDOT Project Manager Justin Pipe found a way to give the project a signature look, without adding anything to the cost of the project.
“Our team of CDOT staff and the contractor has been working on this project for the last two and a half years, and I knew we couldn’t leave this project without trying to do something special,” Pipe said. “I started exploring different options with the contractor about what could be done without increasing costs. At the time, I was personally looking at getting into wood flag art so I was paying a lot more attention to both the American and Colorado flags. One day while I was out on the project, it hit me that the Colorado ‘C’ would fit perfectly in the circle and it grew from there. I thought the design would have universal appeal … or at least Colorado appeal!”
Pipe added, “I take this project very personally, and I know it impacts so many people. I knew we had a rare opportunity to leave such a cool and distinct mark on the area and wanted to give everyone something we could all be proud of.”
The project team moved traffic onto the roundabout last week as well.
In addition to the new aesthetics for the project, there is even more good news. The current project is on the original schedule to be completed with the work by the end of this year, but there was a “gap” of about 1,000 feet to the south of CO1 (Terry Lake Road) from the end of the CDOT project the end of a project the City of Fort Collins completed a few years ago.
Through this time, talks between the city, Larimer County and CDOT have continued and now the plans are in place to complete the gap.
Connecting the current project to existing sidewalks will greatly benefit the community by providing a completed, safe and aesthetically pleasing entrance to the City of Fort Collins from the north, and fill the gap between new sidewalks and existing Fort Collins sidewalks at the Larimer and Weld Canal, project representatives said.
CDOT is closely coordinating this work with the City of Fort Collins. The City will install sidewalks and pedestrian bridges across the irrigation canal to the south. The pedestrian bridges will significantly improve safety and mobility for pedestrians in the area. This work will add the amenities needed to support traveler safety, economic vitality and community livability. Lawson Construction, the CDOT contractor for the project, will make storm sewer improvements and then remove asphalt pavement and replace with concrete pavement.
A bus stop also will be added just south of the US 287 and CO 1 intersection and provide improved access to public transportation along the north corridor. The bus stop will be serviced by Transfort, the City’s transit service. This gap project is expected to begin later this year and be completed by spring 2019.
Motorists can expect moderate delays throughout the project. One lane in each direction will remain open on US 287 between CO 1 and the Laporte Bypass throughout the project, with continuing shoulder closures, occasional lane shifts and temporary lane closures to allow for trucks and equipment entering the highway. Speed limits are reduced to 30 mph throughout the construction zone, with fines doubled for speeding violations.
Construction hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All motorists, businesses and residents in the area of the construction of US Highway 287 and the Laporte Bypass are reminded that they can obtain information by calling the project hotline 970-532-3139. Please leave a message on this line and your call will be returned as soon as possible or at least within 24 hours. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Both of these phone lines as well as email are monitored 24/7. Information is also available on the CDOT website at www.codot.gov/projects/
This is a Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP)-funded project that allows CDOT to fund multi-year projects based on year of expenditure, rather than saving for the full amount of a project before construction begins.
TRANSPORTATION MATTERS – CDOT is committed to spending public funds wisely and working to get more out of our system.