Keeping in line with the safety enhancements delivered by the roundabouts at Weld County Road (WCR) 54 and WCR 17 as well as at 35th Ave. and O St., the initial stages of construction on a roundabout at the intersection of WCR 74 and WCR 33 have begun.
“County Road 74 continues to be a heavily used east-west route throughout our county. Given the growth projections for Weld County in the coming years, it’s necessary to look at enhancements along the corridor,” said Weld County Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman. “This roundabout will reduce congestion and the likelihood of accidents, which are two major elements that ensure we provide a safe and efficient transportation system now and in the future.”
The project was awarded in late December to the Lawson Construction Company for a total amount of $9,210,800.80. The project also has support from outside agencies, with the Colorado Department of Transportation awarding the county a grant in the amount of $1,091,818 and the Town of Eaton contributing $22,696 toward project costs. Lawson will complete construction of the roundabout, and the Weld County Department of Public Works will serve as the project manager.
Public Works continually evaluates county intersections for crash risks. The intersection of WCR 74 and WCR 33 has an average daily traffic rate of 5,970, and with the likelihood of broadside accidents increasing, a roundabout was identified as the best solution to increase safety and efficiency.
“When we’re evaluating improvements for intersections, we’re always looking at many different options. When it comes to broadside accidents, a roundabout reduces the likelihood of one occurring by 80%,” said Weld County Public Works Director Curtis Hall. “They’re also more cost-effective in the long run versus a stoplight, and they help eliminate congestion as well.”
The roundabout will feature several of the same features as the award-winning one at WCR 54 and WCR 17, including a concrete pavement section to ensure a longer life cycle and wider lanes to accommodate agricultural equipment and semi-trucks.
While initial work has begun, road closures aren’t expected until April and the project is anticipated to be complete by the end of September. The public is encouraged to follow the county’s Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest updates.