CREEDE—Mineral County Commissioners discuss potential projects on county roads that will be funded through CDOT during their meeting on March 5.
Commissioner Jesse Albright has been involved in conversations with CDOT officials for the past several weeks and has played a leading role in getting CDOT officials to consider projects within Mineral County.
One of the issues that the county has been working on for many years, is the corner of Airport Road. As Highway 149 heads south out of Creede towards the Mineral County Airport and Creede School, it takes a sharp 90-degree right turn, which makes it difficult for people turning left onto Airport Road. There is no turning lane that removes those turning from traffic, and it is difficult for those turning to see around the corner for oncoming traffic.
Mineral County Administrator Janelle Kukuk stated that a CDOT representative was in to speak to the county about a possible turning lane and flashing signs on the corner. It would help caution people that there is high traffic in the area and help alleviate the concerns of accidents by moving turning traffic into a turning lane. “We have been asking for a turning lane there for years and have always been told no. Now that Jesse has been talking to CDOT officials, it seems their minds have been changed and we may be able to get a turning lane and flashing sign put in place,” said Kukuk.
Kukuk continued, explaining that currently, there are two 90-degree cautionary signs as well as two heavy traffic signs placed on either side of the turn which is an improvement to what was there before. “The representative was more than willing to reconsider restriping the road and add a left- hand turn lane which would make the turn that much easier to negotiate,” said Kukuk.
Commissioner Scott Lamb stated that though the flashing light would be a great way to caution drivers of the turning traffic and the turn itself, they are very expensive because they have to be placed on a pedestal for electricity. “The other thing is that we don’t want to over populate the area with signs because then they lose their meaning, but if there was ever a legitimate place for a flashing sign, that would be it,” said Lamb.
Another project that is up for consideration this year would be to paint direction arrows on the intersection of Highway 149 and Main Street helping to direct people towards Lake City and the Silver Thread Scenic Byway without having to install even more signs. “We talked about actually embedding Highway 149 into the lanes at the main intersection to help direct folks towards Lake City,” said Kukuk.
Albright stated that during his conversations with CDOT officials said they are also going to work on the shoulders of Highway 149 leading up to Creede. “As long as this big transportation bill passes they have set aside about $25 million for shoulder projects and other smaller projects that are not included in some of the larger projects happening throughout the state,” said Albright. He finished by stating that he would continue to attend the meetings to make sure that projects for Mineral County stay on the agenda for the year and that he will keep the board up to date on any further changes.