Lack of funding, material delays put traffic light project on hold
A plan to install a traffic signal at the three-way intersection of US 85 and Daniels Park Road has run into supply chain delays and a funding shortfall.
In the past year, Douglas County has secured rights-of-way, completed infrastructure improvements and created preliminary plans for the signal. In August, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) took over the project. The agency currently does not have the funding to continue, but it will oversee construction of a more comprehensive solution to improve safety at the busy intersection when the funds become available.
Josh Breedlove, resident engineer for CDOT, said that originally the project was estimated to cost $500,000, but due to labor and materials cost increases, the price tag has gone up. Additionally, there are longer lead times to acquire the necessary materials for the project, so the timeline for completion is up in the air, Breedlove added.
Going forward, CDOT’s plan is to use durable mast arms instead of span wires because they have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance (span wires are cables from which traffic lights hang; they are suspended by vertical poles). Douglas County is designing the traffic signal with input from the state. “The County believes this project to be a very important safety improvement and we are still planning to provide CDOT with a significant financial contribution – equal to what the County currently appropriated for the temporary traffic signals that utilized span wire,” said Art Griffith, capital improvement project manager for Douglas County.
Other projects on the horizon are widening roads in the same general area. CDOT has completed design work to reconstruct, realign and widen US 85 between Daniels Park Road and SH 67 in Sedalia from two to four lanes. That project has been identified in CDOT’s 10-year plan as a candidate for funding, but no money has been allocated yet, and it’s unclear when the project will move forward, Breedlove said.
An increase in costs has indefinitely delayed a plan to widen the shoulder of
US 85 between Daniels Park Road and Castle Rock Parkway. That work, funded partially by federal dollars, was tentatively scheduled to commence this past summer. Since the completion of an environmental impact study along the US 85 corridor in 2002, there has been a push to widen the highway between C-470 and Castle Rock. The work has been split into multiple small projects, with much of the construction between Sedalia and Highlands Ranch Parkway now finished.
For now, CDOT is putting its focus on the traffic signal at US 85 and Daniels Park Road.
“It will be a good signal that will last for quite a while until we come through with the Sedalia to Daniels Park project and realigning the road to move it further from the railroad tracks,” Breedlove concluded.